‘Reefer Madness’ from IMPACT – LTE Midlothian Mirror

In response to the Letter To The Editor from the 3/9/17 edition of Midlothian Mirror. IMO anyone who uses the slang ‘marijuana’ for a serious conversation on cannabis has bought into the drug war nonsense regarding this particular substance. It was a derogatory term used to demonize the plant and, more importantly, anyone that used it. Any serious discussion on this topic should use the term cannabis.

The term ‘medical’ or ‘medicinal’ when used in regards to cannabis relies on the reams of information by decades of serious research that this plant does, without a doubt, have medicinal qualities. Anyone advocating for keeping cannabis on the list of Schedule I drugs has either not availed themselves of the data or simply has no interest in doing so. Spend some time educating yourself by looking at more than a dozen well produced cannabis documentaries. While the FDA decides what is officially medicine, plants have been used for thousands of years to treat issues and the FDA, by ignoring, suppressing, and/or misrepresenting the data for decades, has only reinforced the idea that the government does things based on politics and money. The FDA and the DEA have lied and obfuscated for so long, nobody takes them seriously unless they have to. NIDA is tasked with getting information out about drug abuse and it’s effects, they have no reason to dedicate resources otherwise, especially if the drug is Schedule I. I trust organizations like IMPACT are making a difference in the area of education regarding serious drugs, but if you are trying to put cannabis in the same category as heroin, meth, and the long list of dangerous approved and unapproved drugs, you are being disingenuous, at best. Be careful to what organizations you hitch your wagon, people may get the idea that your efforts are based on the same non-reality. Cannabis has incredible medical value even if you choose to ignore it.

Only in the last decade or two has our government allowed access to cannabis by the hundreds of reputable scientists that would really like to study it. In the past if you wanted to study cannabis for its usefulness in medicine, your request would be denied. The only people who were allowed to research it were those that were just looking for results to support how bad it was. Can’t blame NIDA any more than the other government entities who view cannabis through the narrow ‘drug abuse’ lens. Thankfully other countries had more respect for science, regardless of where it leads.

There are numerous ways to get the benefit of cannabis, ingesting the smoke is only one. But for some, that is the most effective way. These are usually people in need and smoke is the least of their problems. There are quite a few substance delivery methods that could be classified as harmful, but not compared to other battles they are waging. Hospitals are your best chance of getting a life threatening infection, but people still think the positive outweighs the negative.

With all due respect to Mr Capra, coffee has been shown to be more addictive than cannabis. We are continuing to have this conversation because there is sufficient evidence on the benefits of cannabis and the government is still stuck on Reefer Madness. Why are we still having the conversation about cannabis being a schedule I drug?

I will go with the science that healthy people under the age of 21 (since we don’t seem to have a problem with a serious health hazard like alcohol being allowed at that age ) would be harmed by cannabis use. The exception is if cannabis use improves their life by mitigating a worse affliction. Yes, these cases exist. If someone is thinking about using cannabis, they should look into the good and the bad. I would offer the same advice to anyone about the food they eat, considering the negative health effects of the various government approved chemicals used on our food. ( ex – glyphosate, among many).

When our government uses terms like reckless and irresponsible to describe using the best science to help the sick and mitigate harm, something other than the best for humanity is driving that mindset. It’s been 40 years since President Nixon commissioned the Shafer Report and we are still having this conversation. I wonder who is being protected here? Perhaps a conflict of interest? We won’t even venture into why hemp is illegal, but they are tied together. If you have not looked into the history of cannabis and hemp prohibition, you should. Hint, it’s about money and power, not health.

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