The nail in the coffin of the US War on Drugs is a medical marijuana patent owned by the federal government. At least, it should have been the fatal mistake of a dying concept, but it wasn't. Instead, the War on Drugs has sloshed onward, buoyed largely by the predation of the government on marijuana users based on the claim that the plant has no medical value. At the very least the feds could change their argument to the reality of the situation, which essentially boils down to the idea that even if marijuana does have medical uses, the government has secured a monopoly on any potential profits.
Of course, this all makes perfect business sense. After all, the War on Drugs is extremely lucrative, so hedging one's bets by securing a patent on medical marijuana will alleviate any pressure applied by an inevitable change in federal policy. That change will of course come on the heels of public outrage, but by then it won't matter: Patent 6630507 ensures that the government will continue to profit handsomely by heavy-handed control of suddenly legal medical marijuana.
What is US Patent 6630507?
The Department of Health and Human Services filed for this patent in 2001 after apparently extensive medical marijuana research where the government claimed, among other things, that;
"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases."
The US DHHS provides evidence for a number of specific medicines and treatments to be included as part of the patent, and stated in the patent filing's "Summary of the Invention" that;
"It is an object of this invention to provide a new class of antioxidant drugs that have particular application as neuroprotectants, although they are generally useful in the treatment of many oxidation associated diseases."
(Patent Storm: Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants, Patent #6630507, Issued 10/07/2003, Expires 02/02/2021)
What this means is that not only does the government hold a patent on various types of medical marijuana treatments, it also shows clear support for and evidence of its usefulness in many oxidation associated diseases. This is shocking news considering that oxidation associated diseases are those that we struggle with - and die from - every day. This includes conditions such as heart failure, cancer, bipolar, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anemia, autism and many other troubling diseases.
This gives rise to the thought that if the government clearly and enthusiastically admits that marijuana is a useful weapon in the battle against these diseases, but then simultaneously persecutes those who use marijuana to treat those same conditions, then it doesn't seem logical to suggest that the DHHS is acting in the best interest of the American people. Unless, of course, we're talking about the best financial interest of some Americans.
But regardless of the fact that the government's medical marijuana patent was filed and granted more than a decade ago, it hasn't caused much of a stir despite several short bouts of ineffective media coverage. Of course, it could be argued that the stance of the government has changed, considering the fact that 16 states have passed medical marijuana legislation.
However, this argument only adds further insult to injury considering that starting in the spring of 2011 the federal government began an aggressive crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries and suppliers that continues to this day. The reason these law-abiding citizens are being arrested and incarcerated? Because there are no medically accepted uses for marijuana.
Of course, pointing out that patent 6630507 is a blatant, potentially criminal contradiction to this stance invariably leads to the tired excuse of "if we legalize pot for medical use, we'll have to legalize everything else as well."
This argument is correct but flawed considering that we already have legalized most of the other illicit chemicals for medical use. Opiates are possibly the largest class of drug on the planet, and include substances like Vicodin, Morphine, Methadone, Percocet and many others. Cocaine is used for medical purposes including pain management and as an anesthetic, and amphetamines are found in many drugs including popular prescription medications like Adderall, Benzedrine and Dexedrine.
So in reality, this argument only points out the fact that medical marijuana is actually behind the times of perilous street drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth. Of course, even in the filing documentation for Patent 6630507 it's clear that the government tried - unsuccessfully - to patent a class of drugs that were non-psychoactive. However, why should this matter? Prescription drugs are dangerously addictive because they are highly psychoactive, while medical marijuana - even if habit forming - isn't viewed as dangerous by anyone, including the people who demonize it.
Ultimately, the entire War on Drugs is propped up by the marijuana trade. By removing this component from the "War," the federal government wouldn't have any legs to stand on. This is because while the demand for drugs like cocaine and heroin is high, it pales in comparison with the demand for marijuana - medical and otherwise. Additionally, it's likely that the more difficult marijuana is to obtain - as in a high interdiction rate - the more users will turn to other drugs.
But at the base of this issue is the two-sidedness of the US stance on medical marijuana: the government harasses, persecutes and imprisons those who take part in state-sanctioned, legitimate medical marijuana programs by citing the "fact" that marijuana has no medical uses while holding a medical marijuana medicine patent behind their backs.
In fact, even the government's studies have found that this is a useless policy and one that can't hope to survive. The conclusion of a federally-funded study on drug demand and supply stated that;
"Given experiences since the beginning of the war on drugs, which initiated major expansions in expenditures on supply-based programs, it seems more reasonable to conclude that the Nation will not be able to have any large future influence on decreasing the availability and increasing the price of illicit drugs." (William Rhodes; Patrick Johnston; Song Han;Quentin McMullen; Lynne Hozik, Illicit Drugs: Price Elasticity of Demand and Supply January 10, 2002)
Overall, any sane person who examines this issue subjectively will come to the same conclusion: you can't have your cake and eat it too. But for some reason, we the American people have allowed our government to do exactly that. And because of our ineffectiveness at collaboration, dissemination, organization and action, even if we do succeed in ending the War on Drugs, we'll be at the mercy of a highly controlled, government-monopolized program for marijuana - a weed that can grow in any ditch or backyard. The government is playing its people like a game of chess: Exit the War on Drugs, enter Patent 6630507.
Want to do something about it? Spread the news. Create a fire. Share this article, and tell anyone who will listen that there is clear, easy to obtain proof that our government is soldiering on both sides of the War on Drugs. This means that no matter what side you're on personally, you're battling a hypocritical traitor.