Cannabis in America

by Kristin Bushong about a year ago in fact or fiction

Why is it not legal?

Cannabis in America

Current situation:

Marijuana (also known as cannabis) is illegal according to our federal government. They believe cannabis has no value even in our current society, even though there is quite a bit of research showing that it actually has many benefits.

Currently, prescription pills or opioids are preferred and trusted over medicinal cannabis. Vicodin, Percocet, and Fentanyl are all considered to be safer and not as addictive as cannabis in the eyes of the federal government. To take it a step further, on the recreational side, we consider alcohol as the better recreational alternative over cannabis as well.

Let's break it down...

Marijuana has proven to help cancer symptoms, multiple sclerosis, seizures, Crohn's disease, chronic pain, and so much more. Some states have started to see the benefits and lack of risks and started legalizing it for medicinal and even recreational purposes, and now 22 states have legalized medicinal marijuana. Yet the DEA has stood by their claims, even as late as 2019, that it has

"No accepted medical use"

... and consider prescription pills safer option.

"Opioids are safer" they said...

We are in an opioid overdose crisis going on in our country right now. There is an overall overdose epidemic, however opioids make up 68% of all overdoses in the United States. Just to be clear: an overdose on prescription pills can and will kill you. Just a little tidbit of information: there are still no THC overdose related deaths to this date.

In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers. This led to healthcare providers prescribing them to people at much greater rates. Now we have a bunch of people addicted to pain killers because we were told they were safe, but it turns out that was a lie fed to us by the pharmaceutical companies. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acknowledged the issue in 2017 and has created a 5 point strategy to combat the crisis. Just to be clear: we are in crisis mode due to prescription pills and the damage they have caused to society, and they're still legal. Yet cannabis is still labeled a Schedule I drug…This doesn't make sense to me.

"Alcohol is safer because it's legal"... What?

I find this (ignorant) argument quite hilarious. Here is just one fact that proves otherwise:

According to the NIAA, an estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity. Being that there are still no THC related deaths recorded, it baffles me that people still prefer alcohol over cannabis. But to each their own, right?

Why is it not legal?

That's my question! Simply put: money. Money drives everything in this ever-so-capitalistic society. For example, in 2018 PhRMA spent $27.5 million on lobbying efforts while the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector spent $194 million. That’s a lot of money to convince our politicians to keep them rich. “Big Pharma” will lose money if it becomes legal. Alcohol companies are in the exact same situation. However, instead of blocking that product, we can flourish it. There’s so much revenue that can come from legalizing if we just look at the numbers. Colorado made $173.1 million in REVENUE. Multiply that by 50 states=$8 Billion.

That's just a very quick example. Imagine if we accept this product into society and see the economy flourish and overdoses decrease and used the same efforts of marketing and lobbying as the pharmaceutical and alcohol companies. Crazy, right?

In the end, it is your decision to accept cannabis or not. The message here is to make sure to trust scientific facts, and NOT media facts.

fact or fiction
Kristin Bushong
Kristin Bushong
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