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Trump Administration Confirms Marijuana Legalization Advocate Being Considered to Head FDA

Sean Spicer, President Donald Trump’s Press Secretary, has confirmed previous reports that Jim O’Neil is being considered to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

O’Neil is not only a strong supporter of legalizing marijuana, he has actively worked towards it as a Board of Directors member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, which helped legalized cannabis in California.

According to Spicer, both O’Neil and biotech executive Balaji Srnivasan “are being considered” for head of the FDA.

Both O’Neil and Srnivasan have connections with billionaire Peter Thiel, who co-founded Paypal and was an early investor in Facebook. Thiel is a supporter of Donald Trump and also supports legalizing marijuana.

Having a supporter of legalizing marijuana (or simply one who doesn’t oppose it) leading the FDA would be huge for the cannabis reform movement. For years prohibitionists have brought up the fact that the FDA finds marijuana to have no medical value, something that could easily be changed with someone helming the administration who understands its medical capabilities.

Although Srnivasan’s opinion on marijuana are less known, a post he made on Twitter about a potential cigarette ban sheds a bit of insight into his opinion (Srnivasan has deleted all but one Tweet on his account; this post was found through a time-stamp website):

This time cigarettes. Many other times marijuana. Are they really willing to kill people – esp PoC – in the name of Prohibition? Appears so.

 

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

44 comments

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  1. Dawn Marie Steenstra

    Fantastic post. As a TCU and hospice nurse I have seen the havoc of pharmaceuticals. The quality of life issue is huge here. The potential SAVINGS to insurance companies and health care costs alone….I and millions of others pray for the descheduling of this non toxic plant that heals wherever it goes, has such MINOR side effects and not 1 , that means ZERO potential for overdose. The opioid epidemic can be squarely faced with this tool in the arsenal to get patients through withdrawal. It’s such a no brainer when you take the time to examine it.

  2. Anthony

    If it has no medical value, why does the FDA hold a patent on it? Patent # 6630507.

  3. Anonymous

    It’s all about money, not the will of the people. It’s sad few in congress are willing to step forward to do what the American people overwhelmingly want done. Legalize marijuana. Stop penalizing adults and treating us like children. Now go have a cocktail Congress and think it over.

  4. Ken Hildebrand

    On 1-24-2017 I sent a package to President Trump asking him or a staff member to look into the Cancer fighting property’s of Cannabis. The package included about 50 pages of articles and a DVD with a number of testimonials by researchers, from other countries of course.

  5. Dave

    This plant shouldn’t have been illegal from the start. it was put on this earth for a reason!

  6. William Clark

    Regarding marijuana, 
I’d say, “Legalize it but don’t corporatize it.” Big business interests should not be allowed to outlaw home cultivation, the farmer’s roadside stand, or small businesses. A little competition may actually benefit larger firms. One cannot patent a plant, only strains which one has created. If home cultivation is forbidden, the number of strains available to patients and public alike will be limited to those that enrich a few wealthy people who favor ‘limited prohibition’ in order to line their own pockets. And commercial crops are likely to be pesticide-rich, rather than grown organically.

    No one should promote the canard that marijuana is dangerous,
    like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities have dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”. Despite occasional accidents, eagerly reported by police-blotter ‘journalists’ as ‘marijuana-related’, a mix of substances was often involved. Alcohol, most likely, and/or prescription drugs, nicotine, caffeine, meth, cocaine, heroin, and a trace of the marijuana passed at a party ten days ago. However, on the whole, as revealed in big-time, insurance-industry stats, within the broad swath of mature, experienced consumers, slower and more cautious driving shows up in significant numbers. A recent Federal study has reached the same conclusion. And legalization should improve those numbers further.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    I am appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.

    1. Dan

      Wonderful post, thanks.

    2. Carolyn Orbach

      Exactly!!

  7. The One

    They need to decriminalize at the Federal level. Remove it completely from the schedule like alcohol. It needs to be controlled separately just like alcohol and cigarettes. We should be allowed to grow our own for our own uses just like home brewed beer. Free the herb!

  8. Anonymous

    Trump holds an ACE card in his hands with legalizing MJ nation wide; future supporters in 2020.

  9. Nick Baker

    Thanks man please add me to email list.

  10. Sheila

    As someone mentioned above….you better be careful what you ask for. If they are putting big money towards the manufacture and sale of marijuana, it is not because they are all of a sudden concerned for you. It could become so controlled as far as growing and manufacturing of….something to think about.

  11. Walker Richardson

    “Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted” is not an option at the federal level. It is smart to have guidance to ensure that a burgeoning industry will have latticework for the best interests of the American people.

  12. Doc

    I do not need to be protected from a plant!

  13. Neil Mihelich

    This is excellent news! Hopefully the FDA will change its stance on marijuana which will influence the DEA to follow suit.

    The fact that marijuana is a schedule one narcotic and considered to have no medicinal value by the Federal government is pure insanity. Our government is blatantly lying to us about this incredibly beneficial plant and has been doing so for about 80 years now. It is obvious that weed can be used to treat cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, severe or chronic pain, PTSD, and several other debilitating conditions. It’s also apparent that pot is far less dangerous than alcohol. In fact, you can not overdose on marijuana. Yet alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. The hypocrisy surrounding the prohibition of marijuana is disgusting.

    About 60 % of the country is in favor of recreational marijuana legalization and 85 % for medicinal. Our laws regarding marijuana need to change to reflect the will of the People and scientific fact.

  14. Anonymous

    I truly hope they legalize marijuana, it has been proven to aid in so many ways (medical, environmental), and I believe the crime rate would go down as well. It’s less harmful then cigarettes and liquor.

  15. Mick Thomas

    If any rescheduling of cannabis happens under trump and didn’t under Obama, thats a sure disaster for democrats, and would prove the trump presidency is the only option for cannabis users. I tried for eight years to get Obama to reschedule or better yet deschedule cannabis and even even reschedule, cannabis, and never even was worthy of an email reply. Cannabis seeks a party to come to its aid. Dems failed, will Repubs, ironically take the torch and become the party cannabis users need vote for? Oh, the absolute IRONY.

  16. Jefferey Burnside

    It’s about time that nature was legal again…

  17. NPP Valok

    RE:Trump Administration Confirms Marijuana Legalization Advocate Being Considered to Head FDA – TheJointBlog I have passed something?
    Валок лапа Salford

  18. John

    How about passing a bill so medical cannabis will be covered under health insurance benefits.

    1. Nick

      Once the FDA recognizes marijuana as a approved drug medical insurance will cover it

  19. Mike Persin

    I get that this could be good for the cannabis industry – and I applaud that. But this man’s appointment is a double-edged sword.
    Jim O’Neill is a managing director at Thiel’s Mithril Capital – a money man, focused on profit

    In a speech, said FDA could approve drugs without efficacy data. This could mean the approval of psychoactive (among others) drugs for children, or highly addictive treatments for non-life threatening conditions or any other drug he deems is ‘good’. (or good for him and his friends)

    Be careful what you ask for – you might get it.

    1. Anonymous

      That is already happening. Ppl can’t just trust any drug a dealer (doctor) prescribes.

      1. Anonymous

        I know right been had dat. Where is the weed

    2. Carole

      That is already in place Obamba already out thru that a month ago then mental health care act its terrible

  20. Laurence Williams

    I’m epileptic & for the past 7 or 8 years the doctors been just prescribing me pills along with anti-depresents,which must don’t mix too well together…Plus they keep trying to get me to agree to “brain surgery”,which I feel like I’m “slow” enough,& I got mouths to feed…5 to be exact….Long story short,I’m trying but I feel like I’m in a “no win” situation…Any suggestions on what I could do to help my “situation”???

    1. The One

      Try CBD oil from CW botanical. That’s the one that helped to save Charlotte Figgy from Dravets syndrome.

  21. D

    This would be amazing.

    1. Patsy

      It’s good to see someone thnkiing it through.

  22. Anonymous

    pot should be in our gardens not a pharmacy. legal everywhere end the useless drug war!

    1. Anonymous

      My worry is that they will Gmo the seeds .

  23. Anonymous

    Yeah baby

  24. Gerri Wilson

    There is a new petition on White House.gov promoting legalization of marijuana. There is also one for growing hemp. Your readers may find them interesting.

  25. Jason

    But so what? Legalization rests on the DEA… right?

    1. Anonymous

      No, the DEA is an enforcement arm of policy, they have nothing to do with the crafting of that policy.

    2. Mike Persin

      The DEA only enforces the laws, not create them.

    3. Matt

      No! Legalization lies with the people and vote. This is a democracy. People need to stop assuming other people hold their rights. The DEA merely enforces. And if no one says anything they petition for drug illegality and it passes. That’s the thing, everyone thinks the government controls them and so they let the government control them.

  26. Gene Vanover

    all we ask is take it off the class 1 list and admit it has many medical uses ,, fda will just get their pals in big pharma involved and screw the people that need it for meds.

    1. Andy

      your right were not asking, we are demanding that the plant be completely descheduled and to allow states rights to determine recreational laws. We are demanding that all 50 states to allow medications to be made and used with Perscription regardless of recreational state laws. The DEA should only have authority over man made chemicals and not a plant. What I don’t understand is why the federal government is so afraid to let states rights truely be used, descheduling is the only move that truely creates an environment of states rights. The truth is, we could eliminate the controlled substance act and let states manage their drug prohibition, as they are the ones doing the majority of enforcing these laws anyways. Want a smaller federal government, disband the DEA and pass that power back to the states where it belongs.

    2. Daniel Osorio

      It will be better to legalized it cigarettes are more harmfuls and marijuana has never cause deaths.

      1. Bradley a.

        Legalize the damm suff it’s saffer than alochol .

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