Reality Check: Government Refuses to Reclassify Marijuana, but Holds Patent on Cannabis Oil

You have heard by now that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it will not push to reclassify marijuana.

What does that mean? Why won’t they do it?

And also, why the government’s policy on this issue is stunningly hypocritical.

This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.

Last week, the DEA announced that it will not push to reschedule marijuana, more correctly called cannabis.

So what is the DEA talking about when it says rescheduling?

To understand that, you first need to understand the drug schedule.

The U.S. government uses a five-tier system for drug classification. A Schedule 5 drug would be a drug determined to have very little risk of abuse and high medical use. An example of a Schedule 5 drug would be cough medicine like Robitussin.

Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use and has a high risk of abuse. So cannabis remains scheduled the same way as a deadly drug like heroin.

The hope was that cannabis would at the very least be rescheduled as a Schedule 2 drug. These drugs still have high risk of abuse; drugs like oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet) are Schedule 2 drugs.

And yet the DEA claims that cannabis is more dangerous and of less value.

Earlier this year i introduced you to Katie and her little boy Hawk. Hawk suffers from—— and takes CBD oil— cannabis oil that is saving his life.

[Read More: Mother Calls Cannabis Oil a ‘Miracle Drug’ for Her Son, Continues Fight in Georgia]

But Hawk is not alone. There are tens of thousands of people— men, women and children— across the nation who are taking cannabis oil to treat epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, cancer and many other conditions. And by the way, taking cannabis oil, whether CBD oil or even THC oil, does not get you high.

So when so many people are getting incredible help from cannabis oil, how can the DEA claim there is no medical value?

Consider the wording used. The drug “has a high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.”

Accepted by whom? The Department of Health and Human Services? The FDA?

The DEA claimed that not enough study has been done, But there is a reason for that because cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug, which means doctors, universities and research facilities can’t use study it. It’s a crime to possess.

And right now, only one facility in the entire United States is allowed to legally grow cannabis to supply to researchers and that is University of Mississippi. The DEA says it will now consider expanding the number of DEA-registered marijuana manufacturers.

But all of that aside, I want to show you something that I was one of the first reporters in nation to reveal three years ago.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services actually holds the patent on cannabis oil for medical use.

The patent, US6630507, is titled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants” and was awarded to the Department of Health and Human Services in October 2003. It was filed four years earlier, in 1999.

[WATCH: Truth in Media: Feds Say Cannabis Is Not Medicine While Holding The Patent on Cannabis as Medicine]

What you need to know is that the patent gives the federal government exclusive rights on the use of cannabinoids for treating neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, and diseases caused by oxidative stress such as heart attack, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and arthritis.

Which means that while the DEA, the FDA and HHS claim that there is no evidence of any medical value for cannabis and while tens of thousands of families struggle to get life-saving oil for their kids, the feds know enough about the value of cannabis to hold a patent on it as medicine.

How is that acceptable?

That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about it on Twitter.