Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

Medical Marijuana 411 talks with Dr. Raphael Mechoulam

Raphael Mechoulam (Hebrew: רפאל משולם‎) (born 1930) is an Israeli organic chemist and professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Mechoulam is best known for his work (together with Y. Gaoni) in the isolation, structure elucidation and total synthesis of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active principle of cannabis and for the isolation and the identification of the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide from the brain and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) from peripheral organs together with his students, postdocs and collaborators.

Transcript: I was asked by my Parliament, the parliament is called the Knesset, to head a committee to decide to go ahead with cannabis both a medicinal agent and so on and there was a committee of government officials mostly, and I was the only one from the outside so I was chairman. And we wrote a big report that said that it should be utilized as a medicinal agent. And more research would be done and also young people should not be sent to prison, or convicted, or criminal files should not be opened, to make things more tolerable. And although it never became a law, and government officials who were in charge of these things, apparently instructed the police to follow these recommendations. So since then, to the best of my knowledge, young people who were caught smoking pot, they were scolded, were told, you, you have a lot of problems, but they never opened a criminal file, they never appeared in court, they never were sent to prison, the reason was, it makes sense.

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