In the United States, marijuana is a Schedule I substance — the most illegal status a “substance” can achieve. This would make us think the federal government considers marijuana to be just as dangerous as heroin, and more dangerous than the Schedule II substances methamphetamine and cocaine. The truth is, being a Schedule I substance has nothing to do with how dangerous it is.
The Controlled Substance Act is actually a massive list of prohibited “things” that doesn’t have to rely on science, research, or logic. Instead, it relies on the commerce clause in the Constitution, so our officials have no requirement to explain why they add anything to it. They could add coffee, sugar, or even plastic straws (plastic is a substance) if they so please.
The federal government knows that cannabis is not as dangerous as heroin. They actually know that cannabis is less dangerous than the sugar that is sold to countless children everyday. But none of that matters, because the National Institute on Drug Abuse admits that cannabis is not physically addictive, it is not a gateway to drugs, it does not cause cancer or emphysema, there is no evidence it negatively affects driving, there is no evidence it causes an early onset of psychosis, and there is no evidence it negatively affects teen IQ — and the DEA ignores all of that.
That is because marijuana has a “potential for abuse”. According to the DEA’s “Denial of Petition to Initiate Proceedings To Reschedule Marijuana”:
“In considering these concepts in a variety of scheduling analyses over the last three decades, the Secretary has analyzed a range of factors when assessing the abuse liability of a substance. These factors have included the prevalence and frequency of use in the general public and in specific sub-populations, the amount of the material that is available for illicit use, the ease with which the substance may be obtained or manufactured, the reputation or status of the substance “on the street,” as well as evidence relevant to population groups that may be at particular risk.”
In other words, marijuana is easy to grow and there is some sort of possibility that it might be popular and enjoyed daily by an unaddressed percentage of the population.
To make matters worse, the cannabinoids in this harmless plant have shown to provide powerful medicinal properties, so we are seeing an emergence of “medical marijuana” bills. Countless activists are tirelessly trying to explain to politicians that cannabis is a medicine, and the politicians are either arguing that only government approved substances can be medicine, or they are trying to cash in on the fees and regulatory power that a medical bill provides.
The government will continue to gouge the price of this vegetable for as long as they can get away with it. They know it’s worth as much as tomatoes, but it’s just too popular to let us grow for free. The Republicans and Democrats have continuously lied about marijuana, and the Libertarian Party is the only party that will legalize cannabis for the right reason — it’s nobody’s business what I choose to grow in my closet and put in my body.
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