Pubdate: Thu, 15 Jun 2017
Source: Tucson Weekly (AZ)
Copyright: 2017 Tucson Weekly
Author: Nick Meyers
Column: Reefer Round-Up


Despite the upheaval of the current presidential administration, some
things just haven't changed, like acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg's
Obama-era insistence last month that "marijuana is not medicine."

Though he also stated that he'd "be the last person to stand in the
way" if medical uses of marijuana rise through the FDA process.
(Here's where we count on Sue Sisley's research in Phoenix.)

But Rosenberg doesn't seem to pay attention to what happens in
Phoenix. If he did, he might hear about a small clinic using marijuana
to treat opioid addiction.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a statewide health emergency on June 5
because of the opioid epidemic. Blue Door Therapeutics in Scottsdale
boasts on its website that it gets twice as many patients through
one-year recovery than the industry standard.

It uses a combination of marijuana and traditional medicine to address
symptoms of nausea and anxiety associated with opioid withdrawals.
Blue Door doesn't use inhalation methods of marijuana treatment but
instead uses pills and patches as well as CBD to treat opioid addiction.

According to the clinic's co-founder, Dr. Ravi Chandiramani, N.D.,
cannabis receptors are located in the same area of the brain as opioid
receptors but don't affect breathing, which is the main cause of death
in opioid overdoses.

Blue Door isn't one of a kind. Treatment facilities that use marijuana
to treat opioid addiction exist all over the countrya€"another
indicator that maybe there are some medical benefits to marijuana.

For the most part, the medical variety seems pretty safe despite
Rosenberg's comments. Most opponents of recreational marijuana seem to
accept medical uses of marijuana.

While the race continues for the last word on marijuana policy between
advocates and the opposing leaders in the administration, the only
footing for significantly stricter enforcement is against recreational
users, and that footing is slipping fast.

Medical marijuana programs have a strong hold on the majority of the
country, and opposing points can't keep up with the benefits and
debunked myths about marijuana.

Even the Secret Service is loosening regulations on marijuana use to
allow younger agents to fill a new 3,000-agent quota. It looks like
they couldn't find enough people who hadn't smoked marijuana in their
lifetime to hire as many new recruits as they'd like.

Though Attorney General Jeff Sessions is still hard lining against
marijuana on all fronts, Donald Trump still hasn't piped up since
making campaign promises on state's rights in line with a more
traditional Republican philosophy.

As with the rest of the policy that has come out of the administration
since Jan. 20, it seems the president's stance will belong to the last
person he speaks with before he makes a decision.

Whatever it is, we can expect a decision soon, as the Department of
Justice announced in April that it was forming a subcommittee within a
larger crime-reduction task force that will have some sort of decision
on July 27.

Members of the subcommittee have been kept petty tightly under wraps.
Neither the National Cannabis Industry Association nor the Marijuana
Policy Project have a say in the policy reviewal.

/U.S. News and World Report/identified Steve Cook, an anti-marijuana
assistant U.S. attorney from Tennessee, and Michael Murray, counsel to
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as co-chairs of the committee.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, requested a meeting with
Sessions, but Sessions denied the request, according to his

While it's well-known that Trump lost the popular vote, his
administration may continue to work against the interests of the
majority of Americans on this front as a Quinnipiac University poll
showed 73 percent of Americans support states' rights, and Gallup's
most recent poll still shows 60 percent of Americans are for

Any significant departure from current policy would disrupt a $6.7
billion industry. Surely none of Trump's moral conquests could be
worth that much money.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt