August 22, 2016
In spite of efforts to legalize marijuana and decriminalize it, it is still a very well pronounced illegal, dangerous, highly criminal substance that one’s involvement with will warrant punitive action and reaction. What is often forgotten in all of the promotions and pro-legalization is the simple facts that surround marijuana, the facts that cause the DEA to continue to criminalize it.
These are facts like how marijuana is still the number one gateway drug in the United States, causing more Americans to go on to abuse other drugs and substances that any other substances in the nation. Also, smoking one joint of marijuana creates the same kind of harmful effects on the human body that a pack of cigarettes does. Then there is the phenomena that smoking marijuana creates on the human brain, adjusting dopamine levels in an unhealthy way that promotes shiftlessness, laziness, and deters positive action and activity, causing smokers to achieve less in life than non-smokers would.
Because of all of this and more the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced recently that it would absolutely be keeping marijuana in the same legal category as heroin is, thusly preserving a major obstacle to its legal medical use. The DEA was very firm about this, and they should know, giving that they have the most experience of us all when it comes to dealing with the negative effects of drugs.
Easily the most abused illicit drug is marijuana with 14.6 million drug users. On a regular basis,.2.4 million Americans use cocaine too, and the most concerning drug used and abused by far is prescription drugs with no less than ten million Americans being addicted to those, and with prescription drugs posing a much, much higher threat to the overall success and viability of those individuals than marijuana itself does.
No less than a full 40% of high school seniors reported that they had smoked marijuana during the past 12 months. Marijuana is considered one of the, “gateway drugs”, so to speak, introducing as it does young people to the “pleasant” sensation of drug intoxication. Experts agree that stopping the gateway drugs is a better strategy than attempting rehab for teens addicted to crack cocaine or heroin. Sadly enough though, prescription drugs are also now a major gateway drug too, and they are quite hard to stop.
What the DEA had to Say About It
DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg recently rejected a petition, filed as far back as 2011 by the governors of Rhode Island and Washington along with a medical-marijuana patient Bryan Krumm. The petition asked that the DEA move marijuana from its current location as a Schedule I drug of the Controlled Substances Act to a Schedule II drug, the category used for dangerous drugs that can be prescribed legally, such as Vicodin and Oxycodone. The petition argued that cannabis and all THC-based products, “has accepted and employed medical use in the United States,” is “safe for use under medical supervision,” and, (of course when used for medical purposes), “has a relatively low potential for abuse, especially in comparison with other Schedule II drugs that are being prescribed and used willy nilly”.
The DEA declined, and they were pretty firm about it too. Marijuana will remain in Schedule I, in the same category that holds cocaine, meth, heroin, and other highly dangerous and illegal drugs. Rosenberg wrote to the leaders of the petition, and this is what he said:
“Until it is found to be safe and effective using established scientific standards consistent with the Food and Drug Administration’s drug-approval process and based on the FDA’s scientific and medical evaluation, we will not move marijuana and other THC-based drugs to Schedule II. Reiterating the Controlled Substances Act’s language, it does not have a currently accepted medical use in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse too, and it is the most prevalent drug that we see for causing people to abuse other Schedule II and Schedule II drugs.”
Wow. Talk about a slam dunk. It would seem that marijuana is still dealt with seriously, and it will continue to be dealt with seriously indefinitely, at least unless other scientific studies come out proving otherwise.
Looking to the Future
There is very little argument for the benefits of marijuana. There are countless other holistic therapies that can be employed to reduce pain and ease patients that cost about the same and take about the same amount of time as marijuana does, including vitamin bomb therapy, sauna therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, whirlpool therapy, proper diet and nutrition, physical therapy, etc. All of these can reduce pain and discomfort by quite a bit, and none of them are addictive or have any harmful side effects. Rather than continuing to beat the dead horse of marijuana legalization, pro-legalization supporters should instead promote other holistic means of healing and physical and mental growth that are not addictive drugs.
With this in mind, it seems silly to keep beating the marijuana drug drum. There are other ways to live a happy and comfortable life that don’t involve making the country more accepting of drugs, and these ways should be promoted more, not marijuana.