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(USA) Taking Baby Steps Towards Marijuana Freedom

Directly under this website’s name is the statement, “Marching towards marijuana freedom one step at a time” and recently, mostly in part due to a lot of media coverage, some people have the impression that we are “sprinting” towards legalization.

I will agree that while it’s helpful for all the media coverage to keep the dialogue active, I feel that a lot of the hope that it’s generating for quick legalization is false hope. On the state level there has been substantial progress, but on the Federal level, it’s hard to make that same assessment.

Until we can see one baby step taken on the Federal level, nothing

will change. That baby step is a step that is more than two decades overdue. But until the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reschedules cannabis from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) at the very least, to Schedule II, such as cocaine and morphine, our baby will still be crawling on all fours.

The criteria for Schedule II substances are still exaggerated in marijuana’s case because it would still be branding marijuana as having a high potential for abuse, and it would be declaring that if abused, marijuana use may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. On the positive side, Schedule II at least recognizes that the substance has a “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions.”

Refusing to recognize, or more accurately stated, “admit” that there is “accepted medical use in treatment” for marijuana is totally absurd when the U.S. government itself has been supplying medical marijuana since 1978. Currently the government supplies four surviving patients with medical marijuana under the Compassionate IND (Investigational New Drug) program.

At one time there were as many as 34 patients, but in 1992, President George H.W. Bush closed the program to any new applicants, which I guess proves that the President was neither compassionate nor interested in investigating the possible medical uses for marijuana.

As with most actions taken by the government, the IND program started as part of a settlement over a lawsuit by a glaucoma patient. The mere fact that the government settled in such a manner in effect proved that the government “admitted” or at least could not prove that marijuana was not medicinally helpful to that patient. As the list grew to over thirty patients, treating other diseases aside from just glaucoma, the government again admitted at least to the possibility that there were recognized medical uses for marijuana. The fact that they supplied the marijuana for these patients under the guise of a “study” to investigate new drugs, yet never conducted any organized scientific study of these patients, is a clear indication that the U.S. government has no interest whatsoever in finding the truth about marijuana. Instead they prefer to portray it as public enemy number one and continue to view it as a Schedule I substance that is so dangerous, the only way to deal with it is to arrest and imprison everyone who possesses, cultivates, or distributes it.

Like I said before, one baby step at a time is all we can ask for from a government which not only doesn’t care to find the truth, it doesn’t want to hear the truth from anyone else who is willing to tell them. One baby step at a time, from a government which not only has no compassion for its own citizens who are ill, it is suspicious that every person who claims to need medical marijuana for relief of symptoms is a liar who just wants to put on buzz and party. And we all know the government frowns on people smiling or being happy anywhere except at church functions or while donating money to politicians. Yeah that’s it, one baby step at a time, that’s all we can ask.   

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