Right General, Right War
Nine months ago we jumped to forefront of articulating a fundamental issue affecting cannabis and the American People, namely that cannabis, which is defined by the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug, is also considered to have healing/curative/medicinal properties by folks in another part of the Federal Government - the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (and by millions of people around the world).
More than 80 years after its de facto Prohibition, decades after Raphael Mechoulam discovered the endocannabinoid system that thrives in all of us, and years after Charlotte's Web began healing Charlotte Figi's seizure-addled body, the Federal Government of the United States is at a crossroads about cannabis.
"Wrong General, Wrong War" we wrote, and you can bet we were proud to show leadership with of that line of thinking. (And that headline was pretty sexy, too.)
Wrong General: the US Attorney General currently prosecutes the "War on Drugs" as head of the Justice Department.
How do we know it's time to replace the Attorney General like Truman replaced MacArthur? One needs look no further than the DEA's Schedule of Controlled Substances, where cannabis is irresponsibly listed on Schedule 1.
Guess what's on Schedule 2 (considered less dangerous):
All of these will addict you and/or kill you.
Wrong War: The War on Drugs has been a failure by every conceivable metric except the vast amounts of taxpayer money spent, the number of people killed by foreign black market actors, and the number of poor people and people of color incarcerated (see "The War on Drugs is a War on Minorities and the Poor").
Instead of this ineffective and destructive combination, we have proposed that cannabis be handled not by the Attorney General, but by the Surgeon General. If it's really a drug with health consequences (we would say BENEFITS), then move it over to the health side of the government.
Fortunately the current Surgeon General, is making noises like he agrees.
From Forbes online;
"At the close of 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams called on the federal government to rethink marijuana’s classification as it pertains to medical research. While the Surgeon General did not go so far as to condone legalization for recreational use, he did say that medically, marijuana should be studied, noting,
“While I support local solutions to help solve our national public health challenges, they must be led by science driven policy. Currently, NIH funded research on marijuana is pressing forward and we are making progress in studying marijuana and its impact on the human brain, body, and behavior as well as on our communities. We should continue to seek ways to encourage and enable research to best inform policies regarding the potential medicinal properties of marijuana.”
Perhaps we've seen the opening salvo in a new war: the War for the American People to access the most profoundly beneficial plant in the world.
Also from Forbes:
"The Surgeon General’s public comments come alongside a congressional report released this week entitled, “The National Cannabis Economy,” highlighting economic benefits of legalized cannabis at the state and national levels.
The report concludes that this year alone more than $11 billion will be earned by the marijuana industry, and that sales will reach $23 billion by 2022 due to, “job creation, more tax revenue, and better patient care.” "