Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ho say canna u c

Following up on the story that appeared here four days ago ("Backward") concerning the federal government's recent and ongoing attempt to put an end to state-sanctioned medical marijuana co-ops and dispensaries, I've been trying to unscramble the "why" of it. I've now found a few pieces of the puzzle, but it's still coming together.

Back in February of 2001, the US Patent Office received an application for a new invention, a cannabinol-derived substance called cannabidiol. Many names are associated with the development of this chemical, but when the patent was granted in the fall of 2003, the inventors were listed as Aidan J. Hampson of Irvine, CA, and Julius Axelrod, and Maruizio Grimaldi, both residing in Maryland.

The US Department of Health and Human Services is presently the holder of the patent for this substance, which appears to be an effective treatment for limiting the damage caused by strokes and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and HIV dementia. It does so without producing any intoxication in the patient.

So far so good, until we learn that The government has now granted exclusive rights to develop and market cannabidiol-based medicines to a New York firm, KannaLife Systems, Inc. I'm deeply suspicious of the timing of this monopoly grant, which is occurring precisely at the moment the feds are suppressing the home-grown and democratically-sanctioned medical marijuana industry.

Dean Petkanas, founder and head honcho of KannaLife Systems, Inc., is a heavy hitter, a banker and self-described "visonary entrepreneur," and a well-connected member of the .01%. His blog is here.

There are still a lot of holes in this narrative, a lot of twists and turns and Israeli connections with the science behind these developments, but several things are now clear. First of all, the federal government in its infinite wisdom is finally reversing itself and accepting the fact that marijuana has medical applications, but has apparently specified to researchers that acceptable medicinal agents cannot be allowed to produce giggles or euphoria in the users. Our rulers are tortured by the knowledge that somewhere, despite all their efforts, somebody might be having a good time.

Secondly, they've issued a patent for a product derived from a substance which has occurred in nature for millions of years. This is like claiming that Louis Pasteur invented calcium. At most, the process of deriving this medication might be patented, but not the substance itself, an end product which, like refined gasoline, is arrived at through extraction.

Thirdly, and most interestingly to me anyway, what did Dean Petkanas do in order that he should be handed a multi-billion-dollar monopoly, and who has he been doing it with?

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