Health department trustees come out in opposition of legalized marijuana

The Platte County Health Department Board of Trustees took a big step in showing opposition to the legalization of marijuana in Missouri but do so with a very important distinction. Members are not opposed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) looking at marijuana-based prescription drugs that go through a review and approval process.

The PCHD board became the first local health board in the state to pass a resolution against marijuana’s legalization in the state. 

According to a press release, the PCHD believes some organizations are trying to get “medical” marijuana legislation passed in a misleading attempt to get their foot in the door toward the goal of getting marijuana legalized for recreational purposes. The board asserted its agreeance with FDA’s stance regarding marijuana. 

The FDA supports sound scientific research into the medical uses of marijuana and its constituents in scientifically valid investigations as part of the agency’s drug review and approval process. 

As a part of this role, the FDA supports those in the medical research community who intend to study marijuana. The FDA has approved THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, to treat nausea and improve appetite, available by prescription as Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone).

The FDA granted Fast Track designation to Sativex for the treatment of pain in patients with advanced cancer who experience inadequate analgesia during optimized chronic opioid therapy. The prescription is currently approved in 25 countries (primarily in Europe) for spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis. 

Also, the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to Epidiolex, GW’s investigational cannabidiol (CBD) product, in the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a rare and catastrophic treatment-resistant form of childhood epilepsy.

The FDA also supports research into the medical use of marijuana and its constituents through cooperation with other federal agencies involved in marijuana research. Conducting clinical research using marijuana involves interactions with other federal agencies, including a review of the Investigational New Drug application and the research protocol submitted by the applicant.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) then the registration application filed by the researcher, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) within the National Institutes of Health operates pursuant to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. NIDA has been designated the responsible agency to supply research-grade marijuana to researchers.

PCHD encourages other organizations and cities in Missouri to join in supporting the initiative of opposing the legalization of marijuana in Missouri. According to the press release, almost 50 organizations, including seven cities, have passed similar resolutions.