A very hot-button issue these days is marijuana legalization. Specifically, legalization for recreational purposes. Many on both sides wave studies around and talk about health benefits or health risks associated with using cannabis. It is my opinion, however, that marijuana needs to be legal on a federal level, not just on the state level. I will state my reasoning below.
The first and primary reason marijuana should be legalized federally is the medicinal benefit it holds for terminally ill patients. Yes, marijuana is good for pain relief and stimulating appetite in users. However, the primary reason doctors need to start prescribing marijuana to terminally ill patients is the fact that there is a minimal risk of abuse associated with marijuana compared to opiates (which doctors are prescribing to patients in staggering quantities). The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has said that “fentanyl related deaths are rising at an alarming rate.” What is fentanyl you ask?
Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate manufactured under several different brand names, including Duragesic, Abstral, and Subys, to name a few. It is highly lethal (a lethal dose for the average size male is 3 milligrams), and heroin traffickers have been mixing fentanyl in with their product in an effort to increase profits. The pharmaceutical industry is fully aware of fentanyl’s potential for abuse; in fact, several top pharmaceutical executives were recently arrested for bribing doctors to prescribe fentanyl. The pharmaceutical industry profits massively from the current opioid crisis in the United States.
Big Pharma also knows that marijuana has been shown to be at least as effective as and less dangerous than opiates. Perhaps that is why Insys Therapeutics (a fentanyl manufacturer) spent $500,000 fighting legal marijuana in Arizona. Ladies and gentlemen, the pharmaceutical industry couldn’t care less about the health of their customers. As long as people keep overdosing and their money keeps rolling in, they’re happy.
The DEA still refuses to reschedule marijuana; currently, it is a Schedule 1 substance, and the DEA considers marijuana to be more dangerous than methamphetamine (AKA crystal meth or ice). The simple reason for this is that the DEA and federal government as a whole both know that marijuana use across the United States is rampant; if they continue going after the most popular illicit substance, their budget will remain the same, or perhaps even increased. If marijuana is legalized, a large portion of the DEA budget will be cut. The DEA is one of the most corrupt government agencies (similar to Big Pharma, their actions are based solely on how much money they can squeeze out of whatever situation they’re in); there is simply no scientific reason that marijuana would be considered as dangerous as heroin (also a Schedule 1 substance). In fact, the DEA recently classified CBD (a non-psychoactive cannabinoid; in layman’s terms, it doesn’t get you baked) as a Schedule 1 substance. CBD is used by doctors and terminally ill patients to treat chronic pain without “getting high”, so to speak. Again, the DEA is just after their budget, and is doing favors for Big Pharma by keeping life-saving medicine out of the market.
I urge you to write your Congressmen and Senators and implore them to draft legislation that would immediately legalize marijuana federally. Let’s end this evil now.