I have long said that if we can't agree on the issue of marijuana legalization then we can't agree on anything. No issue in American politics is as clear cut as the need to legalize (or decriminalize) marijuana.
In keeping with the horror of 2016 politics, the Feds have just refused to reschedule marijuana to a less insane classification. Instead, the Feds have re-asserted that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse." Furthermore, marijuana belongs to the group of drugs that "are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence."
Seriously? Come on, Feds, what the hell are you smoking over there?
Perhaps the Feds were too busy getting high on those harmless, playtime Schedule II drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, oxycodone, and fentanyl!
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The re-affirmation of marijuana's Schedule 1 classification is so indicative of reefer madness that its almost embarrassing to bother with a counter argument, but here it goes. Let's start with the "high potential for abuse."
Marijuana Is Easy To Abuse
What does it mean to "abuse" marijuana? Is that like when marijuana forgets to cook dinner and so you smack it in the face because you're so hangry? The Feds have stated that they do not recognize any medical use for marijuana, but if a drug has no official use, then that drug cannot be "mis-used," can it? Moreover, when someone smokes a blunt for recreational purposes, their intention is to get high - and they WILL get high. That's doesn't make for abuse, it just makes for an incredibly exciting trip to Taco Bell.
There is no such thing as "abuse" of a recreational drug, because there is no "normal" amount of "high."
Marijuana Is Highly Addictive
How about psychological or physical dependence? In the words of Bob Saget "Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck dick for coke...Now that's an addiction, man. You ever suck some dick for marijuana? I didn't think so." The notion of any meaningful psychological or physical dependence upon marijuana is absurd on the face of it. But if you'd like another laugh, take a look at the U.S. government's official declaration of the withdrawal effects when stopping marijuana use.
Long-term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include: grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, cravings
I shit you not (check the link) - grouchiness is the official #1 withdrawal symptom from marijuana. Interestingly, grouchiness is also the #1 symptom of Monday mornings...so marijuana is not to be messed with!
When even the government can't cook up anything damning against marijuana withdrawal, its safe to say that dependence is a figment of the imagination. If you feel that you're addicted to marijuana then you should see a psychiatrist about whatever mommy or daddy issues you're actually suffering from - you can handle your addiction to gambling and diet soda at the same time (should those also be Schedule I drugs?).
Marijuana Has No Medical Benefit
Ever notice the amateur climatologists that seem to be employed by social media companies to go around calling people "climate deniers?" If they're worried about denying science, why aren't they spending all of their time dealing with "medical marijuana deniers"? Medical uses for marijuana exist at this very moment. People are offsetting pharmaceuticals with marijuana as we speak. That is a de-facto medical use. We don't need to debate it, it follows from the definition!
Not only is marijuana used for pain relief in place of very dangerous pharmaceuticals, but marijuana is also used to induce an appetite for cancer patients that are undergoing chemotherapy. A case of the munchies is often the punchline of jokes, but in this case its no laughing matter. Try vomiting every time you swallow a bite and let me know how long you stay alive (and then remember you're not even fighting cancer).
Seizures. How about those? Does it matter at all that there is a growing body of evidence demonstrating the use of marijuana to reduce and prevent seizures that cannot be controlled by any other drug? Last time I checked, seizures were a serious medical condition - and stopping those seizures was considered medical treatment. I would love to point to robust studies that prove marijuana's benefit for seizure patients...but it turns out that Schedule I drugs can't typically be used in studies. Catch 22!
Marijuana Is Super Dangerous
Last but not least, how dangerous is marijuana? Schedule I claims that marijuana is among "the most dangerous drugs." Is that borne out by any evidence?
On any average day - that's a Monday, Tuesday, even Thursday - there is an average of 6 Americans that die due to an alcohol overdose. Again, those are deaths, not overdoses that were treated, and not ancillary alcohol-rage activities. Each year the U.S. sees an excess of 2,200 deaths from alcohol overdose.
In the history of man, there has not been one single recorded incident of a marijuana overdose death. In fact, you probably can't find a single report of a marijuana overdose at all! That makes every single medication in your cabinet astronomically more "dangerous" than marijuana.
How about cancer risk? You might be surprised to learn that studies of marijuana use do not show any increased risk for cancer - including lung cancer. Your knee-jerk reaction might be to bawk at such a statement. After all, cigarettes obviously cause lung cancer because you're smoking something, so why wouldn't marijuana have the same effect? Well, that's the thing about studies and experiments - they show us the reality, not the model. Where studies of cigarette users show undeniable correlation with various cancers, similar studies of marijuana users do not. Why not? In the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference at this point does it make?
It is immediately demonstrable that marijuana is not dangerous in comparison to any other drug, is not psychologically or physically addictive, shows no nature of abuse (whatever that means), and is obviously used for medical purposes at this very moment. If we can't agree on the legalization (or decriminalization) of marijuana, then we can't agree on anything.
- Mr. Liberty