Testimony of Steve Hoodjer of Parkersburg, small business owner and First District Chair of Iowa’s Campaign for Liberty at Iowa Board of Pharmacy hearing on medical marijuana, Wednesday 2 September 2009, Music Man Square, Mason City, IA
In October 2003, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued patent #6,630,507 “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants.” This patent is based on research done by the National Institute of Health and assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The principle finding which was patented in 6,630,507 was the antioxidant property of cannabis which to quote the abstract “this new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated diseases.” They go on to specify that there is a particular application as neuroprotectants that could limit damage following stroke and in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV-related dementia.
I believe that if an agency of the federal government itself has discovered and patented even a single medicinal use for marijuana, no state agency can claim scientific basis to keep marijuana as a Schedule 1 or equivalent drug on the grounds of having “no medicinal use.”
Some of the most exciting and timely research into medical marijuana has come out of the California firm Cannabis Science, Inc. This medical research company was originally founded by Mr. Steve Kubby who was diagnosed in the 1970s with a rare form of adrenal cancer that was previously 100% fatal. However, with a healthy diet and medical marijuana, Mr. Kubby has survived over 35 years with relapses only when he was jailed for taking his medicine. Their work is focused on phytocannabinoids, those cannabinoids that are unique to the marijuana plant. One of Cannabis Science’s developments is the processing of marijuana into lozenge form making it easier to consume than the traditional method of smoking the plant.
The most timely aspect of their research is in the area of Avian flu and the H1N1 or “swine” flu. The direct cause of death from these viruses is the development of Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome caused by the inflammatory response generated by the body’s immune system. In a healthy body, endocannabinoids, the ones naturally produced in the body regulate this process. For at risk patients such as the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, phytocannabinoids (those occurring in marijuana plants) may be able to take the place of endocannabinoids restoring a healthy state from which the body can fight off the infection.
Cannabis Science, Inc has applied to the FDA for Fast Track approval so that they can get this drug to those who could use it in an expeditious manner to be a part of the arsenal to head off a potential epidemic.