January 19, 2010 :: Permalink
Is there any greater hypocrisy in America today? Gardiner Harris, writing in the NY Times today points out, Marijuana is the only major drug for which the federal government controls the only legal research supply and for which the government requires a special scientific review.
The University of Mississippi remains the sole approved marijuana plantation and anyone wishing to study pakalolo must apply to the National Institute on Drug Abuse to use the Mississippi marijuana and get approvals from a special Public Health Service panel, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released over the weekend reported 58% of Americans surveyed expressed favor for smaller government.
Yet we tolerate a dictatorial and heavy hand over a substance that has shown repeatedly and convincingly in studies to relieve nausea and improve appetite among cancer patients; alleviate the aching and numbness in patients suffering HIV and AIDS. Many more positive benefits are suggested ... but our government obstructs professional research.
U.S. taxpayers spend some $40 BILLION a year to harass, arrest and incarcerate non-violent herbal recreationists. We build more jails and prisons than schools. We clog our court systems; overload law enforcement; and waste valuable public dollars and resources while failing to significantly reduce consumption in this 80-year war on otherwise peace-loving Americans.
We claim to be capitalists. The American public demands this substance. Suppliers currently hide underground. This leads to other illegal activity and increases violence in society. Shine the light on these activities by regulating this market. We could use the tax revenues and likewise need to stop wasting precious tax dollars on a failed policy.
Dr. Richard Payne, director of the Institute for Care on the End of Life at Duke Divinity School, provides the most pragmatic summary:
It's not a great drug but what's the harm?
For more on this topic, please see scottgoold.org/drugwar.php