By Ed Coghlan.

For the Trump Administration, there is the familiar refrain of “fake news” they use as an attempt at denigrating and even delegitimizing journalism that is critical of the administration.

“What,” you might ask, “does this have to do with medical marijuana?”

I was drawn to a story that broke late last week in Ohio where U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said “There really is no such thing as medical marijuana.”

He’s wrong about that. It’s factually incorrect.

It is – and heaven help me as I write it – fake news.

The vast majority of states have approved cannabis for medical use.

For Ellen Smith of Rhode Island and other advocates of medical cannabis who have been working hard to expand the use of medical cannabis for treatment of chronic pain, PTSD, and a number of other illnesses the comments of Secretary Azar are just wrong and pig-headed.

“Someone needs to wake up and get educated. I sure would love to be able to meet him in person and share all the changes we have observed in the improvement of lives turning to cannabis,” Smith said. “To be honest, he sounds really out of touch with a statement like that when you understand all the changes, through state laws, that have happened across the country.  Shame on him!”

It should be pointed out that Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major pharmaceutical drug company, and was a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a pharmaceutical lobby.

No conflict there.

But I digress.

He went on to say in the Ohio interview, “There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.”

He’s right

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