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Changing Marijuana to Schedule II Drug can bring Equality with Alcohol

Equality on Ballot in Colorado, Oregon and Washington

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Ballot referendums in Washington, Oregon and Colorado call for marijuana’s equality in relation to other drugs.  Legalizing marijuana like alcohol could put it in the fast lane to parity with alcohol as its followers compete for equality of recognition amongst the abusive substances.  “Addiction Equality” should be their slogan.   Meanwhile, two states, Massachusetts and Arkansas, have medical marijuana referendums on the ballot, which would run counter to marijuana’s Schedule I status.

On Tuesday, October 16, 2012,  a three-panel federal appeals court for the DC Circuit heard arguments in favor of rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I drug, meaning “high probability of abuse,” to a Schedule II drug.  After exploring the question for 9 years, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reached a decision in 2011 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I drug.  The court would need to prove that the DEA reached its decision capriciously, although the DEA cited the high risk of dependency and the number of hospital emergency room visits for anxiety, panic attacks and psychosis caused by marijuana more than any other substance.

However, marijuana activist Norm Safer, a leader of the legalization movement in Colorado explained that, “The anxiety attacks are real, but the brave and manly thing to do is build up tolerance and prove you can overcome anxiety.  It takes time getting used to pot, but the payoff is tremendous, and the  highs get better over time.  Those strong enough to withstand a little nervousness will be able to use marijuana in a safe and responsible way.”

“Paranoia from marijuana might be common,”  Norm stated.  However, if marijuana becomes more acceptable and normalized in society, “Users will no longer need to fear being caught by police.  They won’t need to be paranoid, and without fear of the higher authority, there will be fewer hospital emergency trips involving marijuana.”  He admitted that pot addiction was a potential problem, but legalization could involve addiction education.

Candy Weed, owner of a medical marijuana business with centers in Washington, Oregon and California, hopes more people will become aware of marijuana’s soothing quality.  Though only medical marijuana cardholders know how much it helps with pain and nausea, people in every state could benefit, if it is rescheduled.  She noted that marijuana could be equalized and taxed like alcohol and tobacco which would help local governments and the economy, but medical marijuana shouldn’t be taxed.   Weed is looking to expand the market share for her company, Pot Magic.

She and other entrepreneurs have successfully argued in Oregon and Colorado that putting a DUI limit on marijuana users, similar to the one on alcohol, would unfairly penalize her patients.  She also suggested that more and more younger people may become aware of cannabis’ healing properties, if it is legal.  Weed explained,  “In time, only the old people will be against it, those who lived at the time of ‘Reefer Madness.’  Baby boomers and young marijuana supporters are so numerous now that the government has no alternative but to accept that the younger generation has power to determine the outcome.”

Safer summarized the goals of those who support rescheduling marijuana so it can be legalized: “We are only asking for recognition and acceptance under the law.  We no longer want to be stigmatized.  Ignorance is bliss, so if we are able to get adolescents to use marijuana at a younger age, it can shave a few points off their IQs and they will be willing to benefit from what we are telling them and trying to sell to them.”

Legalization advocates are asking for one more dangerous, addictive substance in our economic system that is already flooded with legal substances that cause addiction.  Like marijuana, cocaine was not believed to be addictive until around 1984, when the evidence came out that it is highly addictive.  Comparing marijuana to substances like heroin, methamphetamine or cocaine, does not lessen the true dangers with the use of marijuana.

In the 1970s and until marijuana use peaked in 1979, advocates of marijuana would try to “sell” others on their product by claiming  that marijuana is the cigarette that is not addictive and doesn’t cause cancer.  Now that those mantras have proven false, the new mantra is that no one ever died from marijuana, simply meaning no one died from toxic overdose as they can with pills and alcohol, but not tobacco.

Erowid, an organization dedicated to promoting psychoactive substances, acknowledges horrible heart problems, psychosis and endangered driving caused by marijuana use.  Drivers with marijuana in their blood have caused accidental traffic deaths — including 50 such deaths in Colorado last year.   Marijuana effects a driver’s depth perception and the ability to respond quickly enough to slow down or stop with normal reflex response.

Amendment 64’s slogan has been”Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol,”  but there would be no DUI limits on the marijuana like those on alcohol and a very low tax rate. “Addiction Equality” would be  more accurate.

Why don’t supporters warn that a large number of people who react very badly to smoking marijuana, getting panic attacks or depression? Why don’t they admit that some people simply don’t like it?  The reason is that supporters want more followers.  The social pressure to use marijuana is strong amongst high school and college students.

Medical marijuana proponents have stretched their intention to encompass “compassion,” just as other political slogans hijacked the real meaning of the intention.  Their fight for the right to abuse pot as much as alcohol is abused, and to gain followers who choose pot as their recreational drug of choice.  Colorado’s Amendment 64, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, Initiative 502 in Washington and Measure 80 in Oregon are calling for “Addiction Equality.”

Marijuana users and medical marijuana supporters want acceptance of the drug and have asked for marijuana’s Schedule I drug classification to be reviewed.  If it is found to have medicinal usefulness, it could be changed to a Schedule II or Schedule III status.

The court is not expected to announce their decision for several months, after the November 2012 election.  Those calling for addiction equality should not hold their breath, since the judges appeared skeptical of undermining the judgment of an agency. “Don’t we have to defer to the agency?” Judge Merrick Garland asked.  “We’re not scientists. They are.”


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One comment

  1. what bullshit this story is one sided and carry’s no practical proof and if there is i want to see it from a third party