Last month the Food and Drug Administration approved a liquid form of dronabinol, which is a synthetic form of THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. It will be available for use for people with AIDS (to treat weight loss) and cancer (to alleviate the effects of chemotherapy), among other ailments.
The liquid THC, known as Syndros, is basically a variation of Marinol, the THC pill first approved by the FDA in 1985. It will not contain the same level of high one experiences by ingesting actual cannabis, because, you know, we don’t want sick people getting high or anything.
While this can be seen as some progress in terms of chipping away a little more at the walls of prohibition, it’s not much and could end up being the death of medical marijuana as we know it. If the FDA gets power over cannabis it can regulate the whole plant right out of legality, instead cutting it up into its components, served up in pills and liquid form.
This turn of events would be highly detrimental to patients all over the country; the “entourage effect” of the entire cannabis plant is fairly well known at this point; all of the elements of cannabis work together to produce effects they can’t produce on their own.
In the end, the use of cannabis by adults cannot be tied to the FDA or any government agency. Cannabis should have never been made illegal in the first place and adults should never be punished for doing something that doesn’t infringe on the rights of anyone else.
Cannabis doesn’t need to be in a pill and it doesn’t need to be chopped up into its component parts. And above all else, you shouldn’t need a permission slip to get it.