FDA Approved Pot-Based Prescription Drug? Monday 23 January, 2012
By: Kaptain Kush
A year from now, “Sativex,” a mouth spray that uses cannabis as its main ingredient, could be available at a pharmacy near you. Sativex, which contains delta 9-THC and cannabidiol and is manufactured by the British company GW Pharma, has already been approved by Canada, New Zealand, and eight European countries.
The main remedy that Sativex would offer to Americans would be as a cancer-pain treatment. It’s currently approved for use by patients in those other countries who deal with pain symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis. While the drug certainly has a long way to go before it’s approved, the potential approval of this drug–and drugs like it–could have a positive impact on the medical marijuana community.
If the FDA approves the spray, it would represent an important milestone in the U.S., which has had a sticky history with medical uses of marijuana. Currently, 16 states and Washington D.C. allow residents to legally use medical marijuana with doctors’ recommendations. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration considers pot a dangerous drug with no medical value, subjected it to federal prosecution. But the availability of a chemically similar prescription could increase pressure on the federal government to revisit its position.
While I don’t know if Sativex is a legit form of medicine that has tangible health benefits, it’s approval could be a boon for the cause to legalize cannabis seeds. And if Sativex, if/when the FDA allows it, proves to be a viable form of medicine, it’d certainly benefit proponents of marijuana.
So while the drug is clearly a long way away from hitting shelves, it’s worth speculating on what this type of ruling could mean. If the FDA is willing to approve a drug in which marijuana is the key ingredient–and thus admitting its health benefits, well, that’d be a huge boon for the cause. Currently, weed is deemed a “drug with no medical value”–so that “ruling” would have to be revisited.
The bottom line: how the hell will the FDA and the government justify the prohibition of marijuana when a product like Sativex is being sold over the counter? While you shouldn’t hold your breath, the approval of Sativex could very well eventually lead to the end of this legalization nonsense.