Long time no blog.
The rains are here in the Pacific Northwest (they do that, return every September, October) and I crashed my bike a week or so ago (just a little bit. good timing, huh?) so I figured ‘What the hell, I may as well type and offer my views on various cannabis hap’nings of the recent.’ While jamming to goth metal, of course.
I’m not sure if I should start out with the DEA’s steadfast claim cannabis has no medicinal use, or the statistics about Medicare patients’ prescription habits in med-weed states, and how opioid overdose deaths are lower in the same. I’d like to do some sort of cool thing where at the end I tie it all together and finish, like, with one big period. You know, like when a person drops the microphone and walks off the stage?
Define “dramatic.” Does the following qualify?
Back around this April 4th the DEA responded to a letter from the then Washington State Governor Gregoire the Rhode Island Governor and other type folks about the CSA (Controlled Substances Act), DEA scheduling of “marijuana.” I write “then” because I think the letter was presented back around 2011. The DEA’s response was basically smoke and mirrors.
And then something happened along the same lines in 2015. Something. I have a hard time keeping up these days. This time the DEA’s response was more like the fun house at the county fair.
(man, I hope I got all of those links correct … ‘prolly not. sigh ;^)
And it was that one, that last DEA response, what had folks thinking they were reading between the lines; that the DEA was going to make a move on the classification of “marijuana,” that the end of this ridiculous prohibition was near… Hell, there were even reported “leaks” from an unnamed individual purportedly on the inside that cannabis would be, at a minimum, moved to Schedule II.
Folks were elated! and others were very concerned. With Schedule II the possession of cannabis would require a prescription (under federal law) and what of the “recreational states?” I mean, do you know of any that have laws reading Vicodin or Oxycodone can be taken for shits-and-giggles? What exactly would Scedule II, III or IV mean?!
Drama! Drama I tell you!
Have no fear, my friends, as with all good dramas (except those where the protagonist croaks, of course) this one has a happy ending : The DEA elected NOT to change “marijuana’s” scheduling, quoting the verse from the CSA, “…no accepted medical use … high potential for abuse…” That’s right, we’re saved!
Are you getting dizzy? Hell, try sitting in my chair, it spins.
I won’t go off about how anybody with web access can take a look at all of the studies on PubMed related to various maladies’ responses to cannabinoid like molecules. I write “like molecules” because working with whole plant molecules is near impossible in this country, so synthetic analogs are typically utilized in research (shrug). Still, tripping a physiological/biological response with a near mirror image of the real thing is better than nothing. I guess.
But what about statistics? Raw numbers! (the word “raw” got your blood pumping, didn’t it?).
Some recent number crunching has come up with two very related causatum. Possibly, anyway.
In med-weed states the incidence of prescription opioid fatalities is below those without an allowance for the medicinal use of cannabis by around 25%. Here, don’t take my word for it:
And as evidence sick folk find relief in the old world medicine we see that those utilizing Medicare for their insurance buy less pharmaceuticals in the med-weed states. It wouldn’t be too much of a leap to suppose cannabis has taken the place of some of those, would it? Oh, sure, I’ll cite something for you:
But this that and the other thing don’t include FDA approved methods of treatment, now do they?
Hold that thought. Pull your head from the box. Drop the paradigm.
What if we simply quit trying to make The Powers That Be recognize cannabis as a medicinal agent altogether? What if we simply demanded it be de-scheduled because humanity has been using it as a recreational agent for, uh, like 10,000 years (probably)? What if we just said screw the medicinal aspects, some of us would simply like the option of imbibing in a bit of cannabis after a hard day at the office rather than a tumbler with ice and booze: legally?
Hell, the damned Treasury Department regulates alcohol, not the FDA or DEA.
Think about it.
Have we be fighting the battle in the wrong arena?
(drops mic, walks off)