Following his expose´ on “WEED” on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta exposed the hypocrisy of the federal government and its war on drugs Tuesday night on AC360.
“The U.S. holds a patent [on marijuana] on one hand, and on the other hand, same government says it has no medical applications,” Gupta told Cooper. “Journalists are trained to hate hypocrisy. This is hypocrisy. I’ve never seen it quite like this.”
Marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I substances are well-defined as substances with:
1. High potential for abuse
2. No current accepted medical use in the United States
3. Lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision
Scientists are not currently allowed to study the effects of marijuana due to this classification. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 notes:
“Proceedings to add, delete, or change the schedule of a drug or other substance may be initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or by petition from any interested party, including the manufacturer of a drug, a medical society or association, a pharmacy association, a public interest group concerned with drug abuse, a state or local government agency, or an individual citizen. When a petition is received by the DEA, the agency begins its own investigation of the drug.”
Let me summarize this for you. The DEA and Mr. Garrison of “South Park” says that “drugs are bad, Mmmkay.” The Department of Health & Human Services holds a patent filed in 1998 that says marijuana has been found to be,“a protectant for the brain.” And cites:
“Cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”
A CATO Institute study from 2010 reports, $8.7 billion savings would result from legalization of marijuana annually.
An April 2013 national survey commissioned by the Pew Research Center reports that 72 percent of Americans now believe that “government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth,” and 60 percent say the government should no longer enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have approved its use.
According to a May 2013 Reason Magazine-Rupe nationwide survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, more than nine-out-of-10 U.S. adults say that people who possess or consume small quantities of cannabis should not face jail time. A May 2013 nationwide Fox News telephone poll conducted by under the direction of Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Co. Research, reported that 85 percent of voters support allowing adults to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes, the highest level of public support for the issue ever reported in a scientific poll. That’s FOX News! And scientific no less!
Writing in a just-published report by the Brookings Institute, “The New Politics of Legalization,” authors E.J. Dionne and William Galston conclude:
In less than a decade, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana. … Demographic change and widespread public experience using marijuana imply that opposition to legalization will never again return to the levels seen in the 1980s. The strong consensus that formed the foundation for many of today’s stringent marijuana laws has crumbled.” But additionally reports, ”Attitudes toward legalization are marked by ambivalence, especially on the conservative side. Many of those who favor legalization do so despite believing that marijuana is harmful or reporting that they feel uncomfortable with its use. Among conservatives, many who believe marijuana should be illegal nonetheless support states’ right to legalize it and take a dim view of government’s ability to enforce a ban. Support for legalization, though growing markedly, is not as intense as opposition, and is likely to remain relatively shallow so long as marijuana itself is not seen as a positive good. Whether opinion swings toward more robust support for legalization will depend heavily on the perceived success of the state legalization experiments now under way—which will hinge in part on the federal response to those experiments.
More recently, polls by Gallup, Pew, Quinnipiac University and Public Policy Polling all find that far more Americans now favor legalizing marijuana for adults than believe in its continued prohibition.
A simple search for medicinal use of cannabis found results available from the National Cancer Institute.
While continuing a ‘War on Drugs’ that Nixon started in 1971, your federal government has not only been studying marijuana, but has determined the plant is medically viable. Conservatives, who personally believe the science is all ‘mumbo-jumbo’, publicly support states’ rights but are privately stoking their base in opposition to legalization.
The studies and polls show proof that marijuana is medically useful and that use is supported by the majority of Americans. The opposition to legalization is still more vocal and therefore the stigma on weed remains.
How do we stop the few dictating to the many? How do you stand up against the hypocrisy of the federal government? Make your voices heard. Activate. Contact your legislators, attend a rally, educate yourselves to the facts and opinions. Call the White House! Contact NORML or the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). You must put down the Cheetohs and scream for vetoes. Only by making our voices loud enough to drown out the opposition will the President and Congress act. This can happen really fast and can save lives or improve the quality of life for millions… but not if you approach the issue half-baked.