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Once all the various cannabis strains we have today have been "reallocated," once the patents have been "reassigned," and once Big Pharma has appropriated every kind of cannabis with any medicinal value, developing new strains will be in the hands of those who have stolen and now own the patents on the existing genetic strains. Any attempts to develop new strains independently will only work if enough individuals manage to reserve their own stocks of seed before the takeover, seeds that will never bear Monsanto's genetic markers.
A video on Netflix, GMO OMG,15explored the risk of GMOs and presented this following information, which gives readers some idea of the interlock of big agrochemical industry and the risks to our seed inheritance:
Monsanto and the other major agrochemical companies are also the world's biggest seed companies. The top three companies control 53 percent of the worldwide proprietary seed market.15
I would hate to have to figure out how to genetically engineer cannabis to be Round-up resistant. I would hate it even more if Monsanto used such a strategy to corner the cannabis seed market as they have done with corn – suing small farmers who replant seed because the seedsaving farmer's crop has been genetically damaged by pollen "blowover" from the Monsanto seed planted the next farm over. Monsanto argues that it does not go after farmers whose crops have trace amounts of Monsanto genetic material. But what if you are the small hemp farmer living next door to a big Monsanto-friendly hemp farmer and you save your seeds year after year? Eventually, your hemp is going to have a pretty high proportion of Monsanto genes. What then?
An example: The small cannabis farmer nurtures his crop. His big neighbor with Monsanto's Round-up-resistant cannabis seed sprays Round-up to kill the weeds around his plants (even though that would hardly be necessary because cannabis grows vigorously enough that other "weeds" are seldom much of a problem). Blowover from the Round-up spraying damages the small farmer's crop.
The next growing season, the small farmer plants some of the seeds he has saved from his surviving plants … which due to pollen blowover come up bearing some of the Monsanto genes. Not a lot, but each year the proportion of Monsanto genes will increase, (especially if his neighbor is still spraying Round-up since plants with blowover Monsanto genetics will more likely survive the toxic assault). And eventually? The small farmer will get sued.
There is a BIG problem when Big Pharma has too much control. Drug costs escalate faster than any other marketplace commodity. Beyond all reason.
Sodium oxybate is a prescription medication used for patients who suffer from narcolepsy, cataplexy, and excessive daytime sleepiness. Gamma hydroxybutyrate sodium (GHB) used to be a sleep aid people could pick up in health food stores – at a cost that would not kill the wallet (maybe five or ten dollars a month). Because of concerns that it was being abused as a date rape drug, the FDA forced it off retail store shelves and gave the rights to distribute it as a pharmaceutical drug to one company. Since it has become a Schedule 1 "controlled substance" available as a Schedule 3 drug (Xyrem) from one provider, the price has gone up every year. Eight years ago, the price was $3,500 a month. As of summer 2016, the price was $10,000. By September, $12,500 a month – and higher again by the end of the year.
The ingredients to make GHB are inexpensive, and production is not complicated. However, because GHB is a Schedule 1 drug, people who possess, manufacture, or sell GHB or its precursors can be imprisoned for up to 20 years.16
The Politics of Cannabis
Cannabis and cannabinoids have been considered illegal for fewer than a hundred years, a minute period of time compared to the nine millennia for which we have evidence of its use by man. For the better part of human history, people have freely grown and used this plant to supply them with food, cloth, cordage, and medicine. Unfortunately, the United States government's policy regarding cannabis has affected the legality of hemp in almost every nation of the world.17
~Peter Guither. Why is Marijuana Illegal
In 1930, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics was established as a new division of the treasury department. The new director, Harry J. Anslinger, was an ambitious man. When he perceived that the scope of his position, which was to control illegally-used cocaine and opiates, did not meet his personal objectives for power, he chose to take advantage of his new position "to define both the problem and the solution."17Cannabis was used far more broadly than were cocaine or the opiates. Adding cannabis to his job description guaranteed that the organization beneath him would have to be substantial and visible. The fact that cannabis was used to a greater extent by more-or-less disenfranchised factions of the population (blacks, Mexicans, Latin Americans, musicians, political dissidents) made it even easier to gain support in targeting cannabis as an "enemy of the state."17
In 1933, the 21st Amendment to the Constitution repealed the 18th Amendment, ending prohibition. Four years later, the United States passed the first law in the world to outlaw cannabis, the United States Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The American Medical Association completely opposed passage of the Act because it would place onerous demands on physicians, requiring them to pay a tax for prescribing cannabis, utilize special order forms to get it, and keep detailed records of its use. The AMA knew cannabis had value for the treatment of a number of conditions, held that objective evidence proving cannabis was harmful was insufficient, and expressed concern that the Act would obstruct subsequent research into its medicinal value.17
A Corrupt Legislative Process
Anslinger conducted two years of preliminary legislative meetings in secret. By the time the bill was presented to Congress, earlier pro-cannabis comments made by Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association, were corrupted in such a way as to make it appear that the AMA was in full support of the law. Dr. William C. Woodward spoke to the committee on May 4, 1937, expressing his displeasure with the legislative process and the misinformation upon which it was based. A partial transcript, as recorded in the Shaffer Library of Drug Policy, follows:
Dr. Woodward: Unfortunately, I had no knowledge that such a bill as this was proposed until after it had been introduced. Before proceeding further, I would like to call your attention to a matter in the record wherein the American Medical Association is apparently quoted as being in favor of legislation of this character….
We are told that the use of marihuana causes crime.
But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marihuana habit. An informed inquiry shows that the Bureau of Prisons has no evidence on that point.
You have been told that school children are great users of marihuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children's Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit, among children.
Inquiry of the Children's Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.
Inquiry of the Office of Education . . . and they certainly should know something of the prevalence of the habit among the school children of the country, if there is a prevalent habit . . . indicates that they have had no occasion to investigate and know nothing of it.
Moreover, there is in the Treasury Department itself, the Public Health Service, with its Division of Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was, in the first place, the Division of Narcotics. It was converted into the Division of Mental Hygiene, I think, about 1930. That particular Bureau has control at the present time of the narcotics farms that were created about 1929 or 1930 and came into operation a few years later. No one has been summoned from that Bureau to give evidence on that point.
Informal inquiry by me indicates that they have had no record of any marihuana or Cannabis addicts who have ever been committed to those farms.
The Bureau of Public Health Service has also a Division of Pharmacology. If you desire evidence as to the pharmacology of Cannabis, that obviously is the place where you can get direct and primary evidence, rather than the indirect hearsay evidence.
But we must admit that there is this slight addiction with possibly and probably, I will admit, a tendency toward an increase.
So that we have to raise the question at the present time as to the adequacy or the inadequacy of our present machinery and our present laws, to meet the situation. Those laws are, of course, of two kinds, the Federal laws and the State laws.
As to the State laws, you have been told that every State has a marihuana or Cannabis law of some kind.
My own inquiry indicated that there are two States that had not; but at least 46 States have laws of their own, and the District of Columbia, contrary to what has been told you, has a law that has been in force since 1906 and even at an earlier date.
The District of Columbia law, insofar as it relates to Cannabis, is a part of an act passed by Congress in 1906 entitled "An act to regulate the practice of pharmacy and the sale of poisons in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes," approved May 17, 1906, and originally published as 34 Statutes, 175, which is now to be found in the District Code, section 191 and following.
It limits the sale of Cannabis, its derivatives and its preparations to pharmacists and persons who are authorized assistants to pharmacists.
And in the case of sales by pharmacists and their authorized assistants, there must be either a prescription from an authorized physician, or there must be due inquiry and a proper record made so as to assure the proper use of the drug.
No one, whether a pharmacist or not, under this law, has any right to sell any preparation of Cannabis indica to any person under 18 years of age except on the written order of an adult. The penalties are rather heavy and the direct duty of enforcing the law is placed on the major and superintendent of police and the corporation counsel of the District of Columbia.
More interesting possibly is the Federal law relating to the matter. You have been told, I believe, that there is no Federal law. The Federal law is a very direct and positive law and I shall be glad to indicate what seems to me to be the basic principle of it.
To go back, if you will, to about 1929 or 1930, when a bill was before Congress proposing to require every physician in the United States who desired to prescribe or dispense narcotic drugs to obtain a Federal permit before he did so. The medical profession objected to any such Federal control, even if it had been possible. It was not only impracticable, because of the size of the country and the number of physicians, but clearly, I think, most of us will admit, a law of that kind is clearly beyond the power of Congress.
At that time there was incorporated in the act this provision:
‘The Secretary of the Treasury shall cooperate with the several States in the suppression of the abuse of narcotic drugs in their respective jurisdictions and to that end he is authorized (1) to cooperate in the drafting of such legislation as may be needed, if any, to effect the end named, and (2) to arrange for the exchange of information concerning the use and abuse of narcotic drugs in said States and for cooperation in the institution and prosecution of cases in the courts of the United States and before the licensing boards and courts of the several States.
The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to make such regulations as may be necessary to carry this section into effect.'
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