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culture | 01.01.2022

DEA Chief Just Claimed “Marijuana Is Not Medicine”

The federal government itself supplies it to certain patients. But federal officials continue to act as we don’t already know that cannabis is medicine.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised since he is literally required by law to lie about it. Drug Enforcement Administration acting-Chief Chuck Rosenberg on Thursday said that “marijuana is not medicine.”

Ignoring the evidence

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Never mind the fact that there’s extensive evidence, as in literally thousands of scientific studies showing the safety and effectiveness of cannabis. Thousands of patients and families nationwide have seen the effects for themselves, and know the truth.

Even the federal government itself supplies it to certain patients. But federal officials continue to act as we don’t already know that cannabis is medicine.

Rosenberg, speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, as reported in theWashington Examiner, said,

If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesomeI will be the last person to stand in the way of that.

But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.

It’s richly ironic that Rosenberg – whose agency considers cannabis a Schedule I controlled substance, equal in danger to heroin and LSD – would ask anyone to “stick to the science.”

That’s especially true since cocaine and methamphetamine are both considered Schedule II drugs under the same rules, making them officially safer than weed according to the federal government.

Cannabis is medicine

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Despite repeated pleas from advocates, over a period of years, to remove cannabis entirely from the Controlled Substances schedule, or at least to put it in a less restrictive classification, in order to allow more scientific research, there it still sits on Schedule I.

The DEA, by way of justification, has pointed to the FDA’s guidance that says cannabis doesn’t have medical value. The FDA sticks with that inaccurate position, at least in part, because of a “lack of research” on weed – which stems from its Schedule I classification.

The twisted logic would be comical if it didn’t deprive so many patients of the medicine they need.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who spoke alongside Rosenberg at the event, said the U.S. should be researching medical marijuana.

Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent.

But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.

Murthy also voiced concern about state laws regarding recreational cannabis, claiming that it is “addictive,” which is, at the very least, an over-dramatization of the fact the people who try cannabis are interested in doing it again. Murthy claimed cannabis can be harmful to a developing brain that is vulnerable to developing substance abuse and addiction.

Remember we were talking about irony above? State legislators, Murthy said, have gotten “caught up in momentum” and passed policies on recreational marijuana that aren’t always supported by science.

I worry that we have gotten away from allowing science to drive our policy when it comes to marijuana.

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