Big things are happening in cannabis.
The roadblocks that have kept so many Americans from accessing the therapeutic benefits of CBD are beginning to crumble.
On Tuesday, there was a significant change to the TSA medical marijuana policy.
Now, for the first time ever, passengers can carry hemp-derived CBD products and medications – like the FDA-approved epilepsy drug Epidiolex – on flights.
Just look at this screengrab from the TSA’s site. Overnight, the circled section went from a big red “No” to an orange “Yes” (with special instructions).
It’s a big change… one of many that must occur before cannabis can be recognized for its true restorative power.
But attitudes don’t shift overnight.
The Real Problem
As Manward reader Richard W. pointed out in his response to my piece criticizing the Department of Veterans Affairs’ position on cannabis:
You can dance around the problem the VA has and point fingers, but THE real problem is that pot is classified as a Schedule I narcotic. Until this changes, it’s the can to kick down the road, so that no one will have to commit that it has definite and definable properties that will help Vets and other chronic pain sufferers. – Richard W.
I don’t disagree.
Without question, the biggest obstacle facing cannabis right now is that Schedule I classification.
But it’s still just one piece of a giant mess.
I often think of it like a ball of tape. (A ball of red tape, obviously.) Over the years, our tax-fueled government agencies have taken turns adding piece after piece in the form of conflicting policies.
The DEA… the FDA… the TSA… the IRS… the USDA… the DOJ… the SEC… the FTC… even the USPS!
I could go on.
Some of the decisions were practical. (The IRS, for example, didn’t want to provide tax credits to businesses dealing in illegal substances.) Others were politically motivated. And even more were fueled by corporate dollars.
At this point, the rationale is irrelevant.
To move forward, we must peel back the layers and layers of tape.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill… the approval of Epidiolex… and now this major change in policy by the TSA…
With each new announcement, the ball of tape becomes less unwieldy.
Taking the Fight to Washington
From the health side, I’m doing whatever I can to give the process a nudge. I can’t wait for the day when our nation’s scientists and researchers are finally able to tap the full potential of cannabis.
I wholeheartedly agree with Andy’s words earlier this week. “In the clearest terms,” he wrote, “this country should be disgraced by what we don’t know about cannabis.”
He’s right. And he may even be understating things.
The little research there is shows cannabis could be an effective natural treatment for everything from chronic pain1 to depression2… Alzheimer’s3… diabetes4… and even cancer.5
CBD has also shown great promise in keeping recovering opioid addicts from relapsing. Check out this excerpt from a study published in Neurotherapeutics:
The fact that patients with substance use disorders often present with various psychiatric and medical symptoms that are reduced by CBD – symptoms such as anxiety, mood symptoms, insomnia and pain – also suggests that CBD might be beneficial for treating opioid-dependent individuals.6
Think about what you just read. We’re talking about a previously forbidden all-natural pain reliever.
And we’re talking about it just days after the commencement of the first-ever trial to hold a drugmaker accountable for the opioid crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to opioids… all while CBD has been kept just out of reach.
It’s easy to become bitter. I’ve been there. But it’s also important to recognize the tremendous shift that’s underway.
After decades of stagnation, change is finally happening.
It’s time to get excited.