"The war on drugs" or "The war on Weed", what is this war they are speaking of and who is fighting it? The phrase coined by Richard Nixon has a different meaning today, at least to Preventionists and Educators. Today the only people fighting any war is the marijuana proponents and their supports who have been waiting on pins and needles for the DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to announce that he plans to reschedule marijuana at least to a Schedule II. I hate to let them down, but I don't see that happening. Not until the science backs up the reason to do so. Police are not out there hunting down John Q. Stoner, misdemeanors that little aren't worth the time to do the paperwork and court time. The people law enforcement are looking for are the growers and the dealers and that is mostly federal law enforcement with some help by local law enforcement.
I recently came across an article in the Huffington Post by Chris Weigant "War On Weed's In Sight" that I actually found kind of comical and scary at the same time. It was comical because I understand drug policy and it was scary because people believe him. There was so much propaganda and misinformation that needs to be corrected.
A Schedule I drug is one that has no approved medical value and a high potential for abuse/ addiction. Marijuana falls into this category mainly on the basis that it has no approved medical value, its potential for addiction has been proven, but it hasn't. The current addiction rate for marijuana is 1 in 11 for adults and 1 in 6 for kids and teens. But this addiction rate was established 20 years ago with less potent - about 5% - marijuana. Today's marijuana is testing on average at 12% and as high as 30% and that isn't including edibles and dabbing which test at 70% and higher . How's that addiction rate looking now?
DEA about to report
I was lucky to be able to sit in while Chuck Rosenberg talked to a group of people earlier this year. I didn't take anything from Rosenberg's talk that showed any interest in Rescheduling Marijuana, but I have it on good accord that he may loosen regulations again on CBD. What i did take from his talk is that he plans to work with the FDA to get more research done on marijuana to find any potential medicinal use. Weigant wants you to believe that there hasn't been any research allowed by the Government and if there was it was cherry picked to only allow studies aimed to vilify marijuana. Well Chris here's a little info for you, there have been 17 failed full plant studies done on marijuana and there have been many more studies done on its components with only CBD having a favorable affect on Seizures.
It wasn't until recently that CBD was looked at seriously for epilepsy but there is a study nearing completion that will put Charlotte's Web out of business in the US. There is also another full plant study that was just approved this past April that will look into the efficacy of marijuana on PTSD. But again there are no studies being allowed by the DEA, right Chris?
Obama could act on his own, after the election.
Weigant mentioned the "Lame Duck period" of a Presidents term which is the time between November and their leaving office in January where some have made controversial Executive Orders because as he puts it "What does he have to lose? He also brings up a campaign promise to not let politics impede on science in drug policy. Well it would appear that since marijuana is still illegal for recreational and medicinal uses the President is letting science lead marijuana policy. Could the President sign an Executive Order legalizing marijuana? You bet, but will he? With the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 I doubt he would. This international treaty in a nut shell says that no country affiliated with the United Nations will legalize a Schedule I drug for anything other than medicinal use. Marijuana proponents will argue that Uruguay did it so why can't we? Here's why; Uruguay is such a small player in the UN that sanctioning them for violating this treaty will do nothing for Uruguay or the other countries involved. The United States however has a lot to loose by being sanctioned by the UN. Another thing is that the President of Uruguay is seeing backlash because the people of Uruguay didn't want it. Yes latest polling shows that a majority of Americans would be OK with legalization but that's only because they're being lied to by the marijuana industry.
Congress could act as well
Yes Congress does have the authority to schedule or reschedule a drug but in the history of the Controlled Substance Act they have only once interjected to reschedule a drug and that was the Date Rape drug (GHB) which they put as a Schedule I. But is Congress qualified to make a decision like scheduling a drug down or off the scheduling list? Congress has 17 physicians in their ranks - 14 Representatives and 3 Senators. Out of 535 delegates I would say No Congress is not qualified to schedule a drug down. In order to do that you have to have definitive proof of its medicinal efficacy and also that the drug doesn't pose a risk for abuse. To find that you have to put the drug through rigorous clinical trials. Marijuana as a whole has yet to pass any clinical trials and with the higher potency product those would also have to go through clinical trials. So the question becomes, should Congress legalize Marijuana? The answer is an easy No.
Marijuana tax revenue is also being thrown out there as being an abundance of cash. A tactic that pro marijuana journalists are using in reporting Colorado tax revenue is combining Medical tax, Recreational tax, Sales tax and Licensing fees to make the amount look bigger than it really is. Last year they reported that Colorado took in $75 million in tax revenue for 2014 their first year of recreational sales. But when you break it down to actual marijuana excise tax it was only about $10 million. You add in retail marijuana sales tax and the sale tax transfer to marijuana cash fund and you get the roughly $44 million that the media was reporting for that year. 2015 is where they started getting sneaky and adding the medical tax to make it look even bigger. The media was reporting that Colorado pulled in $134 million in tax revenue for 2015. Colorado made $21.3 Million in marijuana excise tax, $36.9 Million in Marijuana retail sales tax, $10.7 million in retail sales tax transfer to marijuana fund and $7 million in transfer to marijuana fund for medical marijuana. That is a lot of deception going on to report it as one lump sum, don't you think? Did you know that the biggest tax disbursement to any school district from the 2014 tax year was $2.2 million? The Superintendent was a little disappointed when he said that he couldn't even pay his teachers with that amount.
Oregon this year is on track to pull in about $35 million from their tax revenue. How much do you think will make it to the schools next year? Here's a little bit of perspective for you, Portland Public Schools is spending about $200 million this year alone to remodel 2 schools and their teacher payroll is around $80 million. If Oregon does make the $35 million the schools will only get about $14 million to disburse to schools.
And lets not forget about the article we posted last week about how they're manipulating data to show that teen use is down.
A little on the credibility of the article in question and the publication it is on, Arriana Huffington is the Co-founder, President and Editor-in-chief of Huffington Post. She is also on the Honorary Board of Drug Policy Alliance which is the organization that is funding most of these legalization initiatives. How can anyone take an article like this for being half way credible?
Legalize it and treat it like alcohol is one of the war cries of the legalization movement, but marijuana is not alcohol. They try to compare two different substances that affect the body differently. Another way they do that is "Marijuana is safer than alcohol ". Well getting shot by a .22 is safer than getting shot with a .357 so what's your point? To say one dangerous substance is safer than another dangerous substance is ridiculous and shouldn't even be taken seriously, but it is. Science must always lead drug policy.
Speaking of science, Weigant repeatedly refers to all this science that supports rescheduling or de-scheduling marijuana but he didn't link any studies to this ground breaking science. Why is that? All of the science that the legalization movement uses is weak at best. They will push studies conducted on rodents or human studies with a study with very low participation. The latter of the two we like to call pilot studies because those are what gets the science going. It's kind of like a TV show. When a producer wants to sell his show to networks he films a Pilot Episode to see if he can get them to want more shows. In science they conduct a Pilot Study to see if they can get funding to continue the research in more depth.
So with all of this there is only one conclusion when it comes to legalizing marijuana on the state level and the national level and that is NOT legalizing it. The good definitely doesn't outweigh the bad socially or scientifically.