by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
While the U.S. Federal Government continues to classify the marijuana plant as an illegal drug as part of the “Controlled Substances Act,” the FDA has now approved patented drugs derived from the plant for medical use.
One marijuana FDA-approved pharmaceutical product is currently being used to treat children for epilepsy, and the FDA is expected to approve another marijuana-based drug soon for treating multiple sclerosis.
According to Fierce Pharma, the company with the first FDA-approved marijuana drug is investing $100 million to grow more pot, although if you try to grow some for yourself, depending on which state you live in, you could be arrested, spend time in prison, and have your children removed from your custody.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, after getting its hands on the industry’s first FDA-approved cannabis-based medicine last February, is angling to keep its crown with a major manufacturing push overseas.
Jazz and its star cannabinoid subsidiary GW have kicked off construction of a new U.K. manufacturing plant at Kent Science Park in Sittingbourne, the companies said Friday.
Jazz will invest more than $100 million into the 60,000-square-foot facility, where it plans to hire 100-plus staffers once the site is operational. The plant is expected to open in 2024, and it will specifically support manufacture of Jazz and GW’s two approved cannabis-based medicines.
Those are the seizure med Epidiolex, which boasts a green light in the U.S., and late-stage multiple sclerosis candidate nabiximols, which is known as Sativex outside the States. The Kent Science Park site will also help bolster future capacity for new meds in the company’s pipeline, Jazz said.
Jazz is already producing extract, active pharmaceutical ingredients and formulated drug products in Kent Science Park, where it operates 12 buildings with more than 400 employees. The site forms “the heart of our global cannabinoid manufacturing operations,” Jazz said in a release.
GW, for its part, has invested heavily in the Kent Science Park site over the past 20 years. Jazz bought GW last year for $7.2 billion in one biopharma’s largest M&A deals in 2021. (Full article.)
Many states have passed laws in recent years to either make marijuana legal to purchase for anyone, or legal to purchase for certain medical conditions, but there are still many states where it remains completely illegal.
This presents serious problems for families who use it legally in one state, but then travel to another state where it is illegal, and end up losing their children to Child Protective Services if someone reports them.
We have covered dozens of these stories over the past few years, as well as stories where parents were desperate to treat their child with marijuana, such as for epilepsy, but did not have the financial resources to move to a state where it was legal and ended up losing their children to the State.
Here are a few of them:
A tragic story was back in the news this week in Texas. The foster parent of 2-year-old Alex Hill was sentenced to life in prison for the death of the young child who was taken away from her parents’ home.
Alex Hill was reported to have been taken away from her biological parents because her father admitted to using marijuana at night after the child was in bed.
With no evidence of abuse, CPS took custody of the child and placed her in a foster home with Sherill Small. Sherill Small reportedly admitted to police that she had slammed the child onto the floor, saying it was an accident.
It was also discovered that Sherill Small’s husband, who lived in the home while the child was there, was himself a recovering crack cocaine addict and admitted to multiple drug charges.
So here we appear to have another case where social services removed a child from a loving home with no sign of abuse, and then put the child into an abusive foster home, with the child tragically being murdered. (Full story.)
A Eureka, Kansas couple reportedly had police enter their home recently without a warrant, based on what the police allegedly stated was a complaint from someone that they heard screaming from inside the home.
Jennifer Hess answered the door and explained that no one was screaming, and attempted to close the door. Doug McVay, writing for FreedomLeaf.com reports:
“At that point, they forced the door open. Two of them entered the house, and they demanded I go outside,” Hess tells Freedom Leaf.
On June 14 on Facebook, she wrote: “They said they were getting a search warrant, alleging they had seen drug paraphernalia in the house.”
Police searched the house and found “293 grams” (about 10 ounces) of cannabis, “all personal use.” Hess and Wilson both had medical conditions and used marijuana for that purpose, she said.
“They made up a reason to come to my door, probably because there was no one we associate with to do a controlled buy.”
Medical marijuana is legal in many U.S. States, but not Kansas.
Jennifer and her husband Homer were arrested, and the two children, Ashton, 15, and Holden, 11, were put into protective custody.
Two weeks later, with Homer having various medical conditions and being denied his medical marijuana, he died in jail. (Full article.)
A U.S. Navy veteran is currently on a hunger strike in hopes of getting his children back from what he calls a very corrupt child protective system in Kansas. He is prepared to continue his hunger strike until he and his wife’s children are returned, or until he starves to death.
Raymond Schwab and his wife Amelia say that their children never should have been taken away from them almost a year ago, but what prompted the hunger strike was the fact that the Department for Children and Families (DCF) said they planned to place their 13 year old son in a psychiatric residential treatment center. They started him on psychotropic drugs 2 weeks ago, against his parents’ will.
Raymond Schwab began his strike on Monday, March 14, two days before DCF was to institutionalize their son. He doesn’t belong there, the parents insist, and he certainly doesn’t need dangerous psychotropic drugs. But he was placed into the facility on Wednesday, against his parents’ wishes, and is expected to be there for up to 60 days.
Three of their children have reportedly been abused while in DCF custody. DCF has reported to the family that their 5 year old little girl has been sexually assaulted in their care, and the 13 year old and another son have been abused in the DCF placement.
The children remain in the system over the fact that Raymond has been using medical marijuana to treat his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and chronic pain as a veteran. (Full article.)
Attorneys Sarah Swain and Matthew Pappas have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Kansas and its Department for Children and Families on behalf of cannabis oil activist and Crohn’s disease patient Shona Banda, whose 11-year-old son was taken by authorities in April of this year after he spoke out about his mother’s successful medical marijuana treatment during a public school anti-drug presentation.
After Banda’s son was seized by the state, Garden City, KS police raided her home on the basis of an unauthorized interrogation of her son, allegedly finding cannabis oil constituents and paraphernalia used to make it, and charged her with 5 criminal charges. Banda faces over 30 years in prison if convicted. (Full story.)
On September 4th, 2020, Sophia Rosas from the state of Washington, had one of her babies ripped from her arms for the third time in 2 years. First, her oldest Zurius, in November 2018, after an accident resulted in a broken arm and CPS involvement without a trial. Her second son, Riley, was removed at birth in November 2019 – for the mere reason that there was an open case with Zurius.
Then, less than two months after Riley had been returned home in July of this year, he was ripped from her arms once again.
This time over his parent’s medical marijuana use in legal Washington State. (Full story.)
An Idaho mother has lost custody of her two children due to her state’s strict laws regarding marijuana, where it is not legal even for medical purposes for physicians to prescribe.
Kelsey Osborne, 23, has lost custody of her two young children, son Ryker and daughter Madyson aged two and three respectively, to state Child Protective Services (CPS). Both children were removed even though only Madyson was allegedly treated with cannabis during a horrific seizure episode. Kelsey now faces the charge of “causing injury to a child.”
Idaho is a bastion of resistance to medical marijuana bordered by three very liberal cannabis states, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and one medical marijuana state that is improving its access to patients, Montana. Not long ago, a state congressional panel in Idaho rejected a proposal to allow CBD (non-psycho active cannabidiol) for children with seizures. (Full article.)
Parents Ashley and Edward Thomas of Idaho recently had their 2-year-old daughter taken out of their home, as police arrested them and locked them up in jail.
Edward is a disabled military veteran who suffers from PTSD after serving in a combat role in Iraq. Not doing well with toxic pharmaceutical drugs, which many reports link to an alarming increase in suicide rates among veterans, Edward turned to medical cannabis to ease his stress and stop his seizures.
In many states, this would be perfectly legal, as most states are moving towards approving legislation for the medical use of marijuana, if not decriminalizing entirely.
But not in Idaho. Idaho is the home of these young parents, however, who need the support of their family in their home state.
Now Edward and his pregnant wife face a future as branded criminals as the State of Idaho takes custody of their children. (Full story.)
It is no surprise that many of these medical kidnapping stories involving marijuana are happening in states like Kansas and Idaho, where it is completely illegal to possess marijuana.
But if a drug company patents some form of marijuana and gets it approved by the FDA, then it is perfectly acceptable. The problem, however, is that even an FDA approved form of marijuana then requires special State laws to provide an exception to their tyrannical marijuana laws.
In Idaho, for example, the new Jazz Pharmaceutical marijuana drug for treating multiple sclerosis referenced above that the FDA is expected to approve soon, needed a special bill in Idaho, and law makers who are against families using the marijuana plant and are all too willing to medically kidnap their children if they dare to use it, all of a sudden are pro-marijuana because a pharmaceutical company now sells it, and the FDA approves it.
BOISE – Legislation legalizing a new marijuana-related drug to treat multiple sclerosis patients earned the unanimous support of the Idaho Senate on Monday.
House Bill 446 now goes to the governor for his signature.
The legislation provides a carve-out in state law for nabiximols, a type of oral spray that contain two chemicals found in cannabis plants: CBD or cannabidiol oil, and THC, which is the psychoactive component of the plant.
The new drug has been approved for use in 25 countries, and is currently undergoing clinical trials in the United States.
HB 446 modifies the definitions of marijuana and THC in Idaho state code to allow doctors to legally prescribe nabiximols as soon as the drug receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That could come sometime later this year.
Sen. Scott Grow, R-Eagle, a long-time foe of efforts to legalize marijuana and other drugs, spoke in support of the bill. Because it requires FDA approval before nabiximols can be prescribed, he said, it gives the Legislature some assurance that the drug is beneficial to Idaho citizens.
“We’ve had long-standing practices in Idaho for decades regarding the way we approve and legalize drugs,” Grow said. “For some reason, some folks think marijuana has unique characteristics that should take it outside the normal approval process. But this (bill) is exactly the way new drugs should be approved. FDA approval is required before it will be available to folks in Idaho, and that’s the way we want it.”
The legislation previously passed the House 65-5; it passed the Senate 33-0. (Source.)
While Senator Scott Grow supports marijuana if it is approved by the FDA as a drug, if it is not, he wants those who use the natural plant to be treated like criminals “to protect Idaho families.” (Source.)
And that pretty much summarizes those who oppose marijuana as a natural plant, which is mainly among “Conservative” lawmakers.
Treat loving parents as criminals if they use the natural plant and then take their children away from them, but treat the criminal FDA and Big Pharma as saints for providing marijuana patented drugs that can be prescribed by doctors.
Meanwhile, a Bill to end the Federal ban on marijuana comes before the House this week:
Momentum continues to grow for comprehensive marijuana policy reform as Congress prepares to vote for only second time in history to repeal federal prohibition.
Members of the US House of Representatives have announced that they will hold a floor vote next week on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act.
The MORE Act, or H.R. 3617, removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, facilitates expungement and resentencing for nonviolent federal marijuana convictions, promotes diverse participation in the regulated cannabis industry, and helps repair the racially and economically disparate harms caused by our nation’s disastrous prohibition policies. (Source.)
This is usually considered a “liberal Democratic” issue, as most Republican Conservatives support the “war on drugs” which is actually a war on natural herbal medicines that cannot be patented, in most cases, to protect the pharmaceutical industry.
With Democrats in control of the House and Senate, as well as the White House, does this bill have a chance? Or will the pharmaceutical lobby make sure it never sees the light of day, as it has done for past many decades?