Could Israeli company hold the key to the medicinal marijuana controversy?

marijuana3n-2-webThe controversy over legalizing marijuana continues with even the medicinal benefits being questioned. Lame stream media likes to promote doctors who say the medicinal benefits are negligible while ignoring anyone else.

Some contend that it might actually increase problems, such as some who get a prescription and turn pusher. Some claim it is a Soros conspiracy because the THC causes mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.

Tikkun Olam, a company in Israel, may hold the a key to the medicinal marijuana controversy. The company announced in July of 2012 that they had developed a strain of marijuana with high levels of the beneficial cannabidiol and less of the THC that causes people to get high. Normal marijuana is illegal in Israel, as in the U.S., but medicinal marijuana has been legal since the mid-1990s.

The New York Daily News reported:

A team at Tikkun Olam, a company in Israel, worked to boost the levels of cannabidiol — the part of the plant used to ease the symptoms of cancer and other diseases — and neutralize the side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That’s the part that induces a calm, light-headed feeling.

“Sometimes getting high is an ‘unwanted side effect’,” says Zack Klein, head of development at Tikun Olam in an interview on The Week.

“The new strain looks, smells and tastes the same, but many patients given the marijuana thought they were using a placebo,” Klein said in the Daily News article.

Medicinal marijuana has been legalized in Arizona and has split communities throughout the State. Arizona has a law—passed by initiative—that prevents the State Legislature from overturning any law passed by initiative. That initiative was passed after lawmakers in the State overturned a medicinal marijuana law in the mid 90’s.

While State legislators cannot stop medicinal marijuana, they could look into making only this new version of marijuana legal for medicinal use. Since it does not have the content of THC required to get you high, it might even be legal to sell it over the counter. Many who require medicinal marijuana might even appreciate the change since they claim that they only want it for the medicinal benefits. They probably could continue to drive and function normally.

In November, USA Today reported that the Israeli government is pushing further development of the medicinal marijuana for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. The drug can be smoked, ingested as a liquid or spread on the skin as a balm.

“When push comes to shove, and people see how suffering people are benefitting, I’m sure everyone will get behind it,” said Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy.

This does not, of course, solve the controversy over whether or not an intoxicating form of the drug should be legal.