On January 19th, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, became the first US President in 100 years to speak, not only positively but on behalf of medical marihuana. The President told the New Yorker magazine “I don’t think it [marihuana] is more dangerous than alcohal” and when pressed as to why he believed marihuana was not a dangerous drug, the President responded astutely by saying the impact for the individual consumer’s usage on other individuals and their families was next to minimal. On January 31st, the President resumed his dialogue in an interview with CNN (links below) stating that ‘Rescheduling’, the act of rescheduling medical marihuana from a Schedule I banned substance to Schedule IV or V regulated substance was Congress’ responsibility and that in his personal view “…marihuana, for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,”.
The significance of the President’s statements cannot be understated; the President, in the only way he can, is beginning to shift the conversation away from Marihuana as a dangerous gateway drug, to marihuana a medicine that requires regulation. Thanks to the work of organizations like the High Quiggle Healing Center, Greed Out of Weed USA and the American Patients Rights Association, there is now a discussion at the federal level about the reclassification of Marihuana as a Schedule IV or V substance; these organizations worked tirelessly over the last two years to provide the federal government with data proving that high grade medical marihuana has medical significance for terminal diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS and that a regulatory system can be created to bring marihuana into a regulated white market for public pharmacuetical consumption. This has caught the attention of members from both sides of the aisle including Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committees and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, who supported a marihuana excise tax in October of last year and has supported the efforts of Oregon representative Earl Blumenauer in pressuring Congress, the DEA and the Executive in reforming marihuana laws and instituting a program of rescheduling and regulation. Last year in a cooperative effort, the Pioneers of Medical Marihuana Kim Quiggle and Richard Eastman, joined the American Patients Right Association in delivering empirical data to Congress as evidence demonstrating the statistical significance of marihuana based CBD applications on 6 forms of cancer and with HIV/AIDS; the data was too overwhelming to be ignored and with the support of members of the House, including Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Rick Nolan, has prompted a further exploration of regulatory reforms.
Marihuana was originally banned in the United States due to the competitive form it played against the introduction of morphine and opioid based pharmaceuticals in the late 1800s. Marihuana was easily available, a part of the country’s history and was an effective weaning agent for patients addicted to heroin, morphine and cocaine in the late 1800s. The American Drug War began with Americas participation in British Opium Wars, the discovery of morphine and the birth of the Eugenics Movement, and its sub-group the Temperance Movement that originally instituted prohibition of both cannabis, opium and alcohol in the United States. The decisions to outlaw cannabis were derived from discussions at the First International Eugenics Conference in 1912 as a method of culling the ‘undesirable classes’ in order to bring about “social and racial purity” to the United States; these decisions were made based on the results of temperance laws instituted in the American colonies and in Washington DC and Massachusetts. The Second International Eugenics Conferences in the 20s further discussed the limiting of medications for the poor and working classes as a global strategy of population reduction that would fulfill the dilemma’s proposed by the notorious British Classist Thomas Malthus known for his work “The Essays on the Principles of Population” written in 1798. The infamous anti-marihuana drug czar Harry Anslinger was a social supporter of Eugenics and was connected through his wife to later stalwart cannabis foe, international banker and eugenics sympathizer, Andrew Mellon.
American pharmaceutical and chemical industrialists saw the opportunities in using their financial power to regulate marihuana away and use regulatory capture to corner the opium market, co-opt the AMA and make a fortune in opium derivatives and chemical drug compounds. FDR would later struggle against Andrew Mellon and the conservatives representing the pharmaceutical and chemical interests to reintroduce hemp into the American economy during the 1930s following his successful repeal of alcohol prohibition. During WW2, American intelligence communities would be introduced by their French and British counterparts to the benefits of using illegal pharmaceutical smuggling as a tool for financing covert operations. Vietnam and the Southern Conservative reaction to the Civil Rights Act served as the catalyst for the state of the modern Drug War with the death of Kennedy, the abdication of LBJ and the electoral coup d’etat by Richard Nixon and the Goldwater/Bush Republicans. American intelligence would assume control of the opium drug trade in Laos and use the domestic heroin profits to sustain the War in Vietnam until the mid-1970s in light of Nixon’s abandonment of the Bretton Woods system. Nixon would use the War on Drugs policy to generate a case for the creation of the domestic prison state which would evolve under the administration of Ronald Reagan into a domestic law enforcement and foreign policy institution.
The international drug war and its partner in crime the War on Terror, have changed the global landscape and the dynamic of ‘drug wars’ forever. One could easily argue that President Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan created the largest ‘Opium War’ in known history, and like in every Opium War, domestic opium use breaches new all time highs, just like Vietnam before it, just like World War I and II before that, and the British Opium Wars as being the inception of narco-terrorism as a means of controlling an enemy population and reducing its military readiness, effectiveness and ultimately its government’s resistance to foreign control. Also the foreign drug cartels, which are a product of these military strategies are not willing to retire from the drug world without a fight. Cartels depend on weapons and men for power; illicit drugs empower them to purchase both with impunity. Marihuana currently accounts for 80% of income for the Mexican Drug Cartels, and this income is used to purchase meth producing agents from Chinese Triad counterparts en masse. Government regulation of medical marihuana would serve a financial death blow to many powerful global cartels and give US agencies the edge they need in bringing the narco conflicts and the corruption they have bred to an end.
So why not just legalize, isn’t it easier? It’s just more complicated than that. Medical Marihuana is a medicine and just like any other medicine it needs to go through a quality control process to ensure the patients receiving the medicine get the appropriate dosage rate, medical quality and medical safety that a regulatory body and FDA oversight would provide. It would also stimulate greater competition in the seed and bud markets to create more quality strains, rather than profit driven high volume strains with low medical benefits. Also, an emphasis on CBD over THC must be placed nationally, THC is not beneficial without CBD, something many in the marihuana community are still confused about. Legalization advocates like Steve DeAngelo, Oaksterdam and members of the Dab-n-Wax community have pushed for higher and higher levels of THC, while completely ignoring the benefits of CBD and almost negating the CBD content in the products they provide by chasing the ‘highest in THC strain’ which is actually dangerous and puts the human brain at risk of harm from oversaturated THC receptors. The only chemical that can enhance and purge the receptors are CBD, because THCs purpose is nature is to be a precursor delivery mechanism for CBD into the body. CBD is what replicates and nourishes human cells in both organ tissues and topically. The effects of CBD were confirmed by associated research from Daniel Piomelli,a professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of California in Irvine. The best medications are often well balanced in THC and CBD content, not overbalanced in support of one over another. This research has been developed and pushed by major Marihuana advocates like Kim and Ed Quiggle of High Quiggle Healing Center, Rick Simpson and deceased Marihuana icon Jack Herer. In order to ensure that balanced medications for patients are produced, rescheduling, rules and regulations are needed.
The best thing we can do as Americans is demand the best medicine, and if not for ourselves for our loved ones. Medical marihuana has helped thousands of patients recover from cancer, physical debilitation, mental duress and psychosis, anxiety and insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and has negated the symptoms of chronic/terminal conditions like Cerebral palsy and AIDS/HIV. Tell your Congressman today, we want to Reschedule, Regulate and Restore Medical Marihuana as a medicine to improve the quality of health and the quality of life for every person that needs it.
- The Green Chazzan