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End Prohibition for the Whole-Plant Cannabis, Not Only CBD

A tidal wave of cannabis legalization has swept the nation recently; fourteen states this year alone. Unfortunately, only three of these states legalized whole-plant cannabis, the other eleven passed some version of a cannabidiol-only legalization bill, most called “Charlotte’s Web” laws. If you include these CBD-only states, for the first time, a solid majority of US states (34/50) have legalized some form of medical cannabis.

This finally reflects recent polls which show nearly 90% support for legalization nationally. The New York Times, not one to be left out, has decided that now is the time to jump on the legalization bandwagon and has called for the federal government to “repeal prohibition, again.” This public statement by the New York Times editorial board is a major step forward in the medical cannabis movement gaining political legitimacy, like the recent support from Dr. Gupta and CNN.

The New York Times editorial staff isn’t the only group calling for an end to prohibition. A bipartisan group of House Representatives just introduced the Charlotte’s Web Hemp Act of 2014, a federal version of the statewide CBD-only bills we’ve seen across the country.

Unfortunately, every state that legalizes a CBD-only bill is another state demonizing THC-rich cannabis. This is problematic because THC has numerous medicinal benefits, including anti-cancer properties. While CBD is a major medicinal component of cannabis, it is not the only one. It is foolhardy to ignore the therapeutic potential of THC and the power of the entourage effect. These CBD-only bills are half-measures, a step in the right direction at best and blatant misdirection at worst, they also codify discrimination against THC-rich medicine, and those who use it, into law. We should strive to be a nation of science, and the science supports a whole-plant legalization that allows patients to use whatever component of the cannabis plant they see fit.

By Mitchell Colbert
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