The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is one of the primary barriers in the bigger picture of nationwide legalization for marijuana, recently approved a liquid variety of synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol that will be sold to people suffering from AIDS and cancer.

This first-of-a-kind liquid THC synthetic, set to be stocked on pharmacy shelves under the name Syndros, has been given the green light for the treatment of “Anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with AIDS, and nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional antiemetic treatments.” Although dronabinol, which is commonly referred to under its brand name Marinol, is nothing new to the pharmaceutical industry’s clever approach to capitalizing on marijuana, the latest version is an “Easy-to-swallow” liquid designed for quicker absorption than its pill counterpart.

Of course, this laboratory creation has the advantage over the cannabis products being sold in conjunction with state medical marijuana programs because it comes with a Schedule III classification under the Controlled Substances Act-suggesting both medicinal value and a low risk for abuse.

The cannabis plant is still ranked with heroin under Schedule I-a classification that deems the herb as having no medical value and a high risk for abuse.

“When the drug became available in the mid-1980s, scientists thought it would have the same effect as the whole cannabis plant. But it soon became clear that most patients preferred using the whole plant to taking Marinol,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote for CNN back in 2014.

“Researchers began to realize that other components, such as CBD, might have a larger role than previously realized.” How ever drug companies such as Insys and GW Pharmaceuticals, are on track to bring a CBD-based epilepsy medicine called Epidiolex to market, are speaking the federal government’s language when it comes to putting so-called “Safe and effective” drugs on the market.

By dissecting the cannabis plant to establish a difference between its beneficial and evil components, like one DEA official recently said was happening, drug controllers are able to keep a tight leash on the product, while enabling a place for it in the black market, allowing significant profitability through criminal prosecutions, property seizures and obscene taxes on legal marijuana businesses.

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