The medicinal benefits of marijuana have been known for centuries, if not millennia.
It is important to clear up one misconception about patent no. 6,630,507, though; it is not a patent on marijuana itself. Instead, it only covers synthetic and natural non-psychoactive cannabinoids (which refer to the ones that don’t get you high).
In short, the really ridiculous thing about the whole situation is this: the federal government is banning the use of something that grows naturally in the ground!
What does all this mean?
This patent proves that there are at least some medicinal properties to cannabis/cannabinoids and that the government has known about it for decades.
Quoted from PATENT 6630507's Abstract (Summary):
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH3, and COCH3.
The patent only proves the potential for these compounds to aid in degenerative diseases. The government says it needs to do more research in order to understand long-term effects, proper dosage and individual effects on specific diseases before it can be released to the public.
That’s their reasoning at least, though it does call into question the plant’s Schedule I status, which is reserved for substances known to have zero medical benefits. The patent expires in 2019, which might make you think the NIH has been working hard to find out more about these compounds, and that’s where licensing comes in.
Follow The Money
This is the main reason for the patent; the NIH can make a deal with some other company to continue researching their findings with stipulations.
For instance, Kannalife is the sole licensee of patent 6630507. They have been contracted to research possible effects on treatment for cirrhosis. The agreement also entitles the NIH to a percentage of royalties once the company starts making money off the patent.
This is an example of a business that wants cannabis to stay illegal for most people so that they can invest in the pharmaceutical opportunities it presents, and the government is helping them do so.
Cited Sources from the video:
United States Patent 6630507 (Gov Site #1):
United States Patent (Gov Site #2):