Collusion: DEA bans plant medicines, then Big Pharma patents them for profits

Image: Collusion: DEA bans plant medicines, then Big Pharma patents them for profits

Source: NaturalNews.com
Vicki Batts
December 12, 2016

Is the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) really looking out for anyone’s best interests with their latest stand on natural, medicinal plants like cannabis and kratom? Most would tend to disagree with them, just on principal. But a deeper look into the matter reveals that their intent may be far more sinister than they want us to believe.

While the DEA consistently maintains that these plants work against the greater good, there are clearly a lot of questions about the agency’s integrity – especially when Big Pharma is involved.

Marijuana and THC – a well-known cannabinoid compound – are both illegal. And yet, as The Free Thought Project pointed out back in September, Big Pharma companies mass-produce and sell synthetic THC formulations, such as Marinol. Marinol is the brand name for dronabinol – the new name that the Big Pharma executives give to THC after it’s been synthesized in a lab. Marinol’s own website notes that THC is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis. However, as Paul Armentano – the senior policy analyst for the marijuana legislation reform group NORML – notes, Marinol lacks many of the natural therapeutic compounds that are present in the cannabis plant. And because Marinol’s sole active ingredient is synthetic THC, and it’s taken orally, the psychoactive effects tend to be much stronger (and even problematic for some) compared to traditional cannabis. CBD, another beneficial compound, tends to help counteract the psychoactive effects of THC, and without it, you’re in for a whole different kind of ride.

Regardless of how one feels about Marinol and the fact that it offers only limited relief to patients in comparison to the plant it’s modeled after, it is exceedingly hypocritical of the FDA to approve of it while the DEA continues to prosecute marijuana to the fullest extent. It’s not just being blind to the facts or refusing to believe a plant could be medicinal; its outright sabotage at this point. The federal government has literally allowed Big Pharma to create medicine derived from the plant, and then made the plant itself illegal. It is simply mind-boggling how they can rationalize and justify such despicable behavior.

The DEA’s recent statement on kratom underlines the extreme lengths to which they will go to continue to assert that they are in the right, even if only to themselves. The agency filed a notice of intent declaring that they would “temporarily schedule the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, which are the main active constituents of the plant kratom, into schedule I pursuant to the temporary scheduling provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.” The notice then explained, “This action is based on a finding by the Administrator that the placement of these opioids into schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to the public safety.”

As is typical of bureaucratic agencies, the notice of intent continued in a similar fashion with its convoluted explanation.

And, of course, three synthetic opioids have been synthesized from the kratom plant, namely MGM-9, MGM-15 and MGM-16. Unsurprisingly, these three synthetics were developed from the kratom alkaloids, Mitragynine and 7-Hydroxymitragynine – you know, the ones named by the DEA as an “imminent hazard to public safety.”

If these compounds are so dangerous, why on earth would Big Pharma be synthesizing them to make medicine? It just doesn’t seem to add up, but the federal agency continues to go along with their story of supposed danger to society, hoping we’ll all fall for it. It really tells you all you need to know about the DEA and their relationship with Big Pharma though, doesn’t it?

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources:

AnonHQ.com

TheFreeThoughtProject.com

NORML.org

DEA Caught Spying on Innocent Travelers to Steal Hundreds of Millions — And It’s 100% “Legal”

dea1
Source: FreeThoughtProject.com
Claire Bernish
August 11, 2016

An intensely troubling report proves the DEA pilfers millions in cash from travelers with little, if any, evidence they committed even minor crimes — and virtually never return any of the money, even if charges are never levied.

Worse, simply purchasing a one-way ticket — or even flying to California — constitutes sufficient reason for the DEA to target someone for a potential cash seizure.

“We want the cash,” George Hood, a now-retired agent who supervised a drug task force assigned to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, arrogantly boasted of supposed attempts to bring down cartels via their wallets. “Good agents chase cash.”

USA Today studied the DEA’s airport operations, and though information was difficult to obtain — due, in large part, to the rarity cash seizures led to arrests or even detainments by agents — it’s clear the agency has reaped an astonishing profit by regularly mining the travel records of millions of people.

As USA Today wrote of the cash-grabbing operation:

It is a lucrative endeavor, and one that remains largely unknown outside the drug agency. DEA agents assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade after concluding the money was linked to drug trafficking, according to Justice Department records. Most of the money was passed onto local police departments that lend officers to assist the drug agency.

Those departments and the agency “count on this as part of the budget,” explained Louis Weiss, a former agent supervising the group assigned to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “Basically, you’ve got to feed the monster.”

Agents frequently receive tips about putatively suspicious itineraries or travel patterns — paying in cash, purchasing a one-way ticket, or even having checked luggage — but cannot use such tips alone to detain passengers or search their belongings. After being alerted, agents use the information to question travelers and ask to search their bags.

Most often, agents seize large sums of cash — “sometimes totaling $50,000 or more, stuffed into suitcases or socks” — leaving a receipt in its place without ever arresting, detaining, or charging individuals with any crime.

Totals seized by the DEA vary widely by location: in Los Angeles, the total through mid-2015 topped $52.1 million; in Cincinnati, $18,047 — but that isn’t accidental. Destinations in California were flagged for connections to marijuana and narcotics trafficking.

Exactly how the DEA procures Americans’ travel records remains uncertain, as is the scope of the agency’s snooping — but USA Today spoke with several agents on condition of anonymity who made clear the cash-filching operation is extensive.

However unethical it might be to plunder money from wholly innocent people, under federal asset forfeiture law, the practice is perfectly legal. Any law enforcement agency has broad powers to seize cash and property from anyone if those items are suspected to be somehow related to a crime — but the hotly contentious program does not require any proof a crime has been committed or that the subject has been involved in criminal activity.

“Going after someone’s property has nothing to do with protecting them and it has everything to do with going after the money,” Renée Flaherty, attorney with the asset forfeiture-specializing Institute for Justice, aptly noted for USA Today.

Asset forfeiture has spurned so much controversy, the Department of Justice halted the program in late December 2015 — but the respite for the American public didn’t last long. Just three months later, the DOJ reinstated its highly lucrative property plundering, because revenue — from the government’s standpoint, what better way exists to rob the public blind with veritable impunity.

“To put it simply,” USA Today observed in 2013, law enforcement is “developing an addiction to drug money.”

Besides suspect travel plans, agents also use drug-sniffing K-9s to detect drugs in travelers bags as a pretext for searches, which could then lead to a lucrative seizure — a distressing fact, given a study seven years ago found cocaine residue on 90 percent of U.S. dollars. Thus, nearly anyone traveling with cash in their luggage — particularly in large amounts — could easily tip off a canine investigator.

According to five current and former agents who spoke with USA Today, the DEA has been able to cultivate a sweeping network of informants trained to scrutinize itineraries and tip off the agency — and most receive what amounts to kickbacks for their efforts in the form of a percentage of the haul. Indeed the web of informants is so extensive, “agents have been able to profile passengers traveling on most major airlines, including American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and others.”

Those airlines, however — acting with ethical integrity clearly devoid in government agencies — for the most part, remain reluctant to cooperate with the DEA’s efforts and would not hand over passenger information.

“They really did not want to be associated with subjecting their passengers to government scrutiny because of privacy issues,” Weiss explained. “They discouraged their employees from assisting us.”

Agents also told the news outlet in many cases, grounds even to arrest supposed couriers were hazy at best, and upon release would use the incident to sniff out more extensive trafficking involvement. But almost none of the encounters ever led to arrests or charges directly stemming from the DEA’s search and seizure operations.

“Of 87 cases USA Today identified in which the DEA seized cash after flagging a suspicious itinerary, only two resulted in the alleged courier being charged with a crime,” the outlet reported. “One involved a woman who was already a target of a federal money-laundering investigation; another alleged courier was arrested a month later on an apparently unrelated drug charge.”

Without arrests or charges — without crime — attached to almost any of the DEA’s cash grabs, how the program remains legal is anyone’s guess. Agents admitted that despite fairly significant busts of actual drugs, the DEA’s mission primarily rests in seizing cash.

And as the horribly failed and altogether farcically-premised drug war labors forward — reaffirmed by today’s announcement from the DEA it has no intent to reschedule cannabis from its position alongside cocaine and heroin as a dangerous substance with no medical value — Americans can expect the government’s legalized robbery scam to continue unabated.

Read More At: FreeThoughtProject.com

Natural News Investigates Astonishingly Pattern Of Blatant Scientific Fraud Across Federal Agencies

Scientific fraud
Source: NaturalNews.com
J.D. Heyes
August 9, 2016

Longtime readers are very familiar with our record of focusing on fraud and abuse in the scientific community. But if you’re new to Natural News, you may not yet know that we are extremely dedicated not only to promoting legitimate science and research, but also to rooting out and exposing scientific corruption, especially when your tax dollars are involved.

As such, we’ve taken a comprehensive look at scientific fraud committed by our government, and have found that there are some patterns: Phony research tends to support political and/or corporate agendas. That is, if the government has taken a certain position on an issue, its agencies are then tasked with conducting “research” which “proves” that the government’s position is the correct one. The same is true with research pertaining to private sector corporations, which of course are major donors to political candidates from both major parties. Whatever scientific results the corporate masters want, they get.

In no particular order, here are some of the most common topics and issues subject to government scientific malpractice:

Climate change/global warming

Since the mid-1970s, the U.S. government has used the issue of climate as a tool to essentially force social change. As part of an overall effort to induce the populace to depend more on government for their existence, “scientific evidence” has been mass-produced in such a way as to drive local, state and federal policies that enable the government to achieve its goal of more collectivism and less individualism and freedom.

But that’s just within our country. More broadly, the global warming hoax is part of Agenda 21, which is a master plan, for lack of a better term, to replace individual governments and political systems with a series of panels and commissions made of global elites and their minions.[1]

Agenda 21 “is the blueprint, it is the action plan, to inventory and control all land, all water, all plants, all minerals, all construction, all animals, all means of production, all energy, all information and all the human beings in the world,” says Rosa Koire, an anti-Agenda 21 activist. “It is a completely comprehensive plan, it’s global and it’s implemented locally… It is in every single town all across the United States and across the world.”[2]

There is no doubting that. So-called “green energy” policies and those that deal with air, water, soil and so on, are all part of the master plan, implemented by state and local functionaries and elected officials who are true believers, even if they don’t know the big picture.

And all of this is supported with phony science.

One of the most popular and well-worn lies is that “97 percent” of all climate scientists agree with the premise that modern man is destroying the planet with technology (hence the changing weather). But no matter how many times the White House and government agencies say so, it remains a myth.

Not only that, but the government’s own environmental and atmospheric agencies are perpetuating the lie by manipulating climate data. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with NASA, have both fabricated data, most recently ahead of a global climate meeting in Paris. Plus, a hack in 2009 exposed climate change fraud at a respected university in England.

Vaccine-caused autism

For years, the government has denied there is any evidence linking the mumps, measles and rubella vaccine to autism. But in 2014, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admitted that he and other researchers at the CDC covered up evidence that the link exists.

This, years after respected Dr. Andrew Wakefield found the connection and published his research, only to see it retracted after Big Pharma, government and others with vested interests in seeing populations continually vaccinated no matter the dangers went on the warpath.

The Vioxx scandal

In 2005, Dr. David Graham, a scientist with the Food and Drug Administration, admitted that his own agency was incapable of protecting the citizenry from dangerous and harmful drugs. In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Graham said that since the disaster involving Vioxx, which was released in 1999 as a medication designed as a potent pain reliever, the agency had not changed one iota.

Vioxx, which was manufactured by Merck, was linked to a fourfold increased risk of heart attacks, according to the company’s own internal study – findings the company would later dispute.

It was eventually pulled from the market only months after the FDA approved it, but according to Graham, a 20-year FDA employee, the mindset at the agency is all wrong for the approval process.

“The organizational structure within the [Center for Drug Evaluation Research] is currently geared towards the review and approval of new drugs,” he said in a media interview. “When a serious safety issue arises at post marketing, the immediate reaction is almost always one of denial, rejection and heat. They approved the drugs, so there can’t possibly be anything wrong with it. This is an inherent conflict of interest.”

He added: “I would argue that the FDA as currently configured is incapable of protecting America against another Vioxx. Simply put, FDA and the Center for Drug Evaluation Research (CDER) are broken.”

Toxic lead in water

The vast majority of Americans depend on public systems for their drinking water, but the truth is, many systems around the country contain unacceptable levels of toxins, far and above what is mandated by the agency responsible for ensuring that water is clean – the Environmental Protection Agency.

As proven by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and director of the Consumer Wellness Center Labs, samples of local drinking water were found to contain unsafe levels of heavy metals like copper, arsenic and lead.

Adams’ testing followed the shocking discovery last year that dramatically unsafe levels of lead were found in the public water system feeding the Michigan city of Flint. There, the EPA – along with the state’s environmental agency – failed citizens repeatedly through inaction and incompetence. While some state officials were held to account, no one at the federal level – meaning, no one in the EPA – was held responsible. The regional director, Susan Hedman, was allowed to resign and slink away from the mess.

The Flint episode took place after another EPA-caused disaster in August 2015. Then, highly toxic water escaped from the abandoned Gold King mine in Colorado, after an EPA contractor ruptured a wall that was holding back millions of gallons of yellow-colored, contaminated water. The resulting spill caused a yellow stream of toxic sludge that eventually flowed through Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, via the Animas and San Juan rivers. That spill, one group estimated, could cost taxpayers upwards of $30 billion to clean up.

FDA collusion with Monsanto

One of the largest agribusiness companies in the world – Monsanto – is also one of the most influential inside the U.S. government. Monsanto is the developer of the widely-used herbicide Roundup, which contains the chemical glyphosate, which the World Health Organization has said “probably” causes cancer.

In addition, Monsanto is king of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which have been linked to toxic effects on plants, animals and the soil. The company has also opposed efforts in the United States to require the labeling of GMO foods.

But perhaps the most nefarious thing about Monsanto is its influence on U.S. government policy, which it has been able to affect literally by infiltrating the FDA with one of its own, Michael Taylor. An attorney whose firm worked with the company as a client, and who later joined as vice president for public policy, Taylor has worked for the FDA in both the Clinton and Obama administrations. Though he left the FDA in June, it wasn’t before he steered passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, a measure that handed more authority to the FDA without really improving “food safety.” In addition, it was a boon for Monsanto, because it gave the company a near monopoly on seeds by criminalizing seed-saving, something farmers have been doing since the earliest days of organized agriculture.

In addition, President Obama has just signed into law legislation that makes the labeling of GMO foods a voluntary act, and only then through hard-to-understand digital coding. The new federal statute effectively blanks state laws that actually required food companies to disclose – as in label – all genetically modified ingredients in their foods. Now Monsanto and other food and chemical companies will no longer have to spend tens of millions on advertising to defeat state-level GMO labeling regulations.

The DEA and medical marijuana

Though the Obama administration has chosen not to enforce existing federal laws criminalizing the recreational use of marijuana in states, the Drug Enforcement Administration has long blocked research into the health benefits of medical marijuana.

Even though cannabis has a long history of medicinal use the world over, the federal government has made up its mind that in every instance pot is bad, and it doesn’t matter what the facts are. As for the DEA, it gained substantial power to enforce the nation’s prohibition against all uses of marijuana via the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Obama’s decision not to enforce laws passed in Colorado and Washington permitting regulated recreational use of marijuana is just a patch; the next president may or may not follow his lead. Congress should pass legislation decriminalizing all uses of marijuana – that is the only fix that makes sense, in terms of what the facts are about cannabis, and as a way to dramatically reduce the power of deadly Mexican drug cartels.

Conclusions

Without question, big business, special interests, flawed, faked science and institutional bias guide many of the federal government’s policies. Most agencies are subject to outside influences, and all of them bend to the political will of the Executive Branch that controls them. If the White House says global warming/climate change is real and being caused by too many SUVs, then that’s the gospel truth – no matter what the real data show. If Monsanto wants to influence agricultural and food policies, it simply infiltrates one of its own into a high government policy position. If the government decides cannabis doesn’t provide any health benefits at all, then that’s the way it is.

And so on.

The bottom line is this: Our government and its various agencies are no longer for sale. They were bought and paid for long ago.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Sources for this story include:

[1] See: EndAgenda21.com

[2] See: YouTube.com

NationalReview.com

RealClimateScience.com

NaturalNews.com

WashingtonExaminer.com

FoodSafetyNews.com

Glyphosate.news

National Guard, DEA & State Police Just Raided An 81-Year Old Cancer Patient’s Organic Garden To ‘Protect’ You

2016-08-04_4-25-57

Source: TheDailySheeple.com
Matt Agorist
August 5, 2016

Edgartown, MA — In a gross display of wasted taxpayer dollars, dozens of Massachusetts National Guard personnel, operating under a grant from the DEA, alongside Massachusetts State Police, descended into the backyard of an 81-year-old cancer patient in a raid last week — to protect society from the dangers of his four marijuana plants.

Paul Jackson, 81, of Martha’s Vineyard, grows cannabis to make medicine. His plants, along with several other plants, became the target of law enforcement last week in a crackdown on hardened criminals who’d dare to grow a plant that helps them.

Jackson was in his backyard last Tuesday when plainclothes men and a helicopter descended on his property. With no warrant, and without showing identification, these heroes ripped Jackson’s plants from the ground.

“They just come charging through and start cutting it down,” Jackson said in an interview with the MV Times.

According to the MV Times, Mr. Jackson, a lifelong Islander and renowned organic gardener with over 300 ribbons from the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair, expressed both bewilderment and disgust when he spoke to The Times on Friday.

“I told them they don’t know what they’re doing, they’re destroying it and it could be used for good purposes,” he said. “I know because I went through it before. You wrote about it in The Times. I had the article framed, took it out to show them; I said, ‘This is proof of what it does,’ but they didn’t want to hear it.”

As the Times reports, Mr. Jackson was referring to a February 2013 article,” Love, life, and death: A Martha’s Vineyard marijuana story,” in which he described how cannabis tea had helped Mary, his wife of 53 years, through the pain of pancreatic cancer and the ravages of chemotherapy. Mr. Jackson said they forsook the morphine prescribed by her doctors, and substituted cannabis tea for pain management.

“I never ever saw pain in her face,” he said. “She was eating and happy, right up until she died. You had to see it to believe it. People don’t understand it. It’s a beautiful plant and it works beautifully.”

For years, Jackson has been growing this beneficial plant to help his wife, himself, and other friends in the area.

“There’s another fellow I’ve given it to, his wife has cancer bad,” he said. “They mix it with her food and it’s really helping her. Another fellow had a tube down his stomach and his wife would pour [tea] down his tube for the pain. And it worked. At least there’s no damn pain in it. I gave another guy some, he was taking seven different pills a day. I talked to him a month later and he said he’d gotten rid of three of those pills. It works on all kinds of different things.”

However, these poor people will now suffer thanks to the public service provided by the government in their attempts to stamp out this miraculous plant.

While medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, to a certain extent, Jackson says he grows his own because it’s far healthier.

“The people that are selling it are using chemicals that react with the chemotherapy,” he said. “Mine is much better because it’s organically grown. I saw it with my own eyes, I couldn’t believe how well it worked.”

In the interview, Jackson noted that he doesn’t smoke the plant and will continue to consume it, in spite of the immoral laws that prohibit it.

“I don’t like smoke and I don’t like dust,” he said. “We just make tea out of it. But if I need to make the tea, I’ve got it. I don’t sell it. I will continue to have a certain amount in case somebody close to me needs it.”

When word began to spread about this embarrassing action to eradicate a beneficial plant, spokesmen from the agencies involved in the raid began denying they had a hand in it.

After their heroic mission to rid Martha’s Vineyard of cannabis, Colonel James Sahady, Public Affairs Officer for the Massachusetts National Guard, said in an email to the Times, “The order was initiated by the DEA and Massachusetts State Police as part of pre-planned eradication missions throughout the year.”

However, Sahady later issued another statement claiming that the DEA was not involved.

On top of the National Guard’s flip-flop, the Times reports:

On Tuesday, two Massachusetts State Police spokesmen checked into the matter and said there was no evidence of State Police involvement. “It was not us,” Officer Tom Ryan told The Times.

In a follow up email received on Thursday, State Police spokesman David Procopio said the operation was initiated by the State Police. “We routinely request the assistance of the National Guard in these operations,” Mr. Procopio said in an email to The Times. “Our Narcotics Inspection Section conducts these operations regularly across the state. We utilize a trained spotter in a helicopter to search for marijuana grow sites. Once one is located, the spotter directs ground units to the plants, which are confiscated and taken by State Police for eventual destruction. These seizures occasionally result in criminal prosecutions, but many times do not, if the plants are seized from rural or wooded areas that can be accessed by many people (as opposed to just growing in some homeowner’s backyard).”

Mr. Procopio said State Police seized 392 plants, “which are slated for destruction as part of our next narcotics burn.”

Although the helicopter was parked at Martha’s Vineyard Airport last Tuesday night, there are no records of landing fees or fuel purchases paid by a government agency, according to airport manager Ann Crook.

“The idea we’re so frivolously spending money on marijuana interdiction, especially now when it’s about to be rolled back, is extremely frustrating. How many books or school lunches could have been bought instead of having these plants ripped up?” Bill Downing, spokesman for MassCan/NORML said to the Times.

Downing’s sentiment is a very real concern as the war on drugs has spent upwards of a trillion taxpayer dollars since its inception. Every one of those dollars spent ruining the lives of otherwise entirely innocent people.

At any one time, 59,300 prisoners charged with or convicted of violating marijuana laws are behind bars. Of those, 17,000 are behind bars for possession ONLY, not trafficking.

Enforcing marijuana laws costs an estimated $10-15 billion in direct costs alone — not to mention the sustained costs of incarceration of the individual who has done nothing to harm anyone. It is estimated that the money spent enforcing useless marijuana laws is double what we spend on education in this country.

Countless lives are ruined every year as the state locks people away or worse, for possessing a plant. The time is now to end this violent ridiculousness before another innocent life is ruined or taken in the name of controlling what people can put in their own bodies.

Read More At: TheDailySheeple.com
______________________________________________________________

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.

_______________________________________________________________
Contributed by The Free Thought Project of thefreethoughtproject.com.

The Free Thought Project is dedicated to holding those who claim authority over our lives accountable.

Big Pharma Prescriptions In Including Painkillers, Antidepressants Plummeting Seniors Turn To Medical Cannabis

Medical marijuana

Source: NaturalNews.com
David Gutierrez
July 26, 2016

Use of many prescription drugs has plummeted following the legalization of medical marijuana, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia and published in the journal Health Affairs.

The researchers found that Medicare prescriptions fell for conditions that can be treated by cannabis, including anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity. Prescriptions for other types of drugs, such as blood-thinners, remained unchanged. This led the researchers to conclude that legalization led directly to the changing prescription habits.

The drop in prescriptions led to a measurable decrease in Medicare spending in those states.

Limits Big Pharma price gouging

The researchers found that medical marijuana reduced Medicare costs by $165 million in 2013. If medical marijuana had been legal and available nationwide, the savings would have been about $470 million.

“We wouldn’t say that saving money is the reason to adopt this. But it should be part of the discussion,” said study co-author W. David Bradford.

The researchers are also analyzing the effects of medical marijuana legalization on prescriptions paid by Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for low-income people. Preliminary data from that study show an even larger drop in pharmaceutical prescription costs.

Much of the savings might come simply from the fact that insurance does not cover medical marijuana, which can cost a patient as much as $400 per month out of pocket.

“I have some trouble with the idea that this is a source of savings,” said Deepak D’Souza of Yale University, who has research medical marijuana but was not involved in the current study.

But Bradford believes that marijuana legalization does lower overall health spending, because marijuana is so much cheaper than many of the pharmaceuticals it displaces. This analysis is supported by Harvard Medical School emeritus professor Lester Grinspoon, who has written two books on the topic (but was not associated with the new study).

“There’s a limit to how high a price cannabis can be sold at as a medicine,” Grinspoon said.

Will DEA finally admit benefits of cannabis?

The lure of lowered health care spending may play an important role in an ongoing review by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is considering reclassifying marijuana from Schedule I substance to a Schedule II.

A Schedule I drug is classified as having no medical benefits, and therefore doctors are prohibited from prescribing it and insurance will not cover it. Even in the 25 states (plus Washington, D.C.) where medical marijuana is legal, doctors can only write a referral to a dispensary.

Schedule II drugs (like narcotic painkillers) are permitted for medical uses. If marijuana were moved to this classification, insurance companies would be more likely to cover it.

The recent study suggests other major benefits that the DEA would also do well to consider. For example, many of the drugs replaced by medical marijuana use have dangerous side effects that are not a concern with cannabis. Perhaps foremost among these are opioid painkillers, which are relatively easy to lethally overdose on.

“That doesn’t happen with marijuana,” D’Souza said.

While marijuana can carry its own risks, increasing legalization would make it easier for scientists to carry out research that could guide responsible use.

But on a fundamental level, medical marijuana may simply challenge the medical-scientific model of health care by placing key decisions — and even production of the medicine in the hands of the patient.

“As physicians, we are used to prescribing a dose,” D’Souza said.

“Do you say, ‘Take two hits and call me in the morning?’ I have no idea.”

With natural medicine booming, hopefully more people will wake up to the fact that natural medicines, and foods, are in many ways superior to their lab-engineered alternatives. The health-supporting effects of fresh fruits, vegetables and all-natural superfoods simply cannot be beat.

Sources for this article include:
NPR.org

HealthAffairs.org

DEA Demanding Warrantless Access To Millions Of Health Records To Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

DEA
Source: NaturalNews.com
J.D. Heyes
June 16, 2016

It might have been launched with the best of intentions during the Reagan administration, but the so-called “war on drugs” has been used more times as justification for violating Americans’ constitutional rights than it is possible to count.

And the government still persists in utilizing anti-drug policy to invade our privacy. This latest assault on the Fourth Amendment is being launched by the Obama administration’s Drug Enforcement Agency.

As reported by The Daily Beast, the DEA has gone to court to fight for unrestricted access, without a properly issued warrant based on probable cause – as required by the Fourth Amendment – to millions of private medical files, including those of two transgender men who are taking properly prescribed testosterone.

Full force of the Obama administration in play

Specifically, the agency is battling to get access to databases in Oregon that contain health files of around 1 million state residents. As the Daily Beast reports:

The DEA has claimed for years that under federal law it has the authority to access the state’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program database using only an “administrative subpoena.” These are unilaterally issued orders that do not require a showing of probable cause before a court, like what’s required to obtain a warrant.

In 2012 Oregon sued the DEA to prevent it from enforcing the subpoenas to snoop around its drug registry. Two years ago a U.S. District Court found in favor of the state, ruling that prescription data is covered by the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unlawful search and seizure.

But the DEA didn’t stop there. It appealed the ruling to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco and has been fighting tooth and nail ever since to access Oregon’s files on its own terms.

The case involves the full force of the Obama administration against the state of Oregon and just five individuals – two of whom are are taking prescription hormone drugs that have to be monitored by state officials, per statute.

That said, in 2014, U.S. District Judge Ancer L. Haggerty ruled against the DEA, claiming that the kind of warrantless searches of health record databases being sought were textbook privacy invasions.

“It is difficult to conceive of information that is… more deserving of Fourth Amendment protection,” Haggerty wrote in his decision. “By obtaining the prescription records for individuals like John Does 2 and 4, a person would know that they have used testosterone in particular quantities and by extension, that they have gender identity disorder and are treating it through hormone therapy.

“Although there is not an absolute right to privacy in prescription information… it is more than reasonable for patients to believe that law enforcement agencies will not have unfettered access to their records,” he noted further.

Fourth Amendment is clear

So, the Obama administration – not one to allow the Constitution to get in the way of policy implementation – disagreed, arguing instead that because health records have already been handed over to a third party – Oregon’s Prescription Drug Monitor Program – then of course patients can no longer expect them to remain private.

As noted by Big Government News:

Except that the state of Oregon had always intended to keep the information private – so yes, patients certainly did have an expectation that their information would be kept out of the reach of improper probing by authorities.

But even so, why would a “third-party” status alleviate a government agency’s requirement to get a search warrant? It’s not like patients are voluntarily posting their information to Facebook or Google+; they have entrusted it to a state government agency that is under the same constitutional requirement to protect it from improper search and seizure as any federal agency.

Critics of the administration’s attempt to gain unfettered health record access claim that the Fourth Amendment is clear about its requirements that government needs a good reason, and a court-issued warrant, before it can pry into Americans’ personal “papers and effects.”

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