July 16, 2021 11:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Could it be any more obvious that it is time to legalize cannabis? According to a Gallup poll, “A record-high 68% of Americans support legalizing marijuana.” The same government that made cannabis illegal is the same government now spending countless tax dollars considering changing this draconian law. The US federal government officially kicked off cannabis prohibition in 1937 by signing the MJ Tax Act. Then they kicked it a nickel in 1972 when former US President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act. This made cannabis a schedule one narcotic which is reserved for substances with no medicinal value and an extremely high addiction rate.
Doctors Who Support Cannabis Therapy Are on the Rise
During the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the War on Drugs was in full swing with the “Just Say No” campaign encouraging Americans to just say no to drugs. Apparently, that didn’t include prescription drugs. A silent drug addiction has since plagued America in the form of prescription pills for decades. Millions of Americans have had their lives affected by unexpected addiction stemming from a visit to the doctor’s office. You could essentially say that drug dealers with college degrees wearing lab coats push pills on people for kickbacks. Medicinal practices such as this led to the opioid epidemic that plagues not only America but circumferences the globe still today. While conventional pharmaceuticals aren’t inherently evil, the manner in which they are often prescribed is certainly questionable.
The health and wellbeing of the American people should come first. Without a country, finances really don’t matter much. That alone should be enough for the federal government to realize they were wrong with cannabis prohibition. According to Massachusetts cannabis doctor Dr. Gary Witman, “As soon as we can get people off opioids to a non-addicting substance-and medicinal marijuana is not addicting- I think it would dramatically impact the amount of opioid deaths.”
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan is another medical professional that supports the medicinal attributes of cannabinoid therapies. She is a Harvard graduate with over four decades of medical experience under her belt. She considers cannabis to be an exit drug, meaning it can help people who are addicted to other substances beat this addiction. She specializes in functional endocannabinology, integrative cannabinology, and cannabinoid medicine.
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The Stats Don’t Lie, We Should Legalize Cannabis
Helping Americans live a healthier life by offering them the option of treating chronic pain, and other conditions with a natural substance such as cannabis versus pharmaceutically engineered prescription drugs should be a no-brainer. According to opioid crisis statistics, there are an estimated 14,000 plus substance abuse facilities located in the United States. An estimated 1.27 million Americans are said to be receiving medication-assisted treatment at these facilities. All too often, treatment for opioid dependence comes in the form of more medication such as Suboxone and methadone.
From 2016 to 2019, the United States federal government issued $9 billion in grants from HHS to tribes, states, and local communities in an effort to fight the opioid crisis. Two out of three drug overdoses that took place in 2018 involved some form of an opioid. It’s estimated that in 2018 10.3 million people who were age 12 or older had misused opioids sometime within the past year. Those numbers broke down more specifically to 808,000 people misusing heroin, and 9.9 million people abusing prescription pain pills. Current statistics show that an estimated 115 plus Americans die every day because of opioid overdoses while thousands struggle with dependency on this life-altering substance.
Pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Purdue pharma, and other lesser-known companies such as McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health are being held accountable for misrepresentation of opioid medications and other devious dubious actions in the form of lawsuits ranging in the tens of billions. Although, in all fairness, a 25, 35, or even 50-billion-dollar fine is pocket change to an industry that collectively brings in an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars a year as of 2019.
The opioid epidemic is but one tiny fraction of the reason draconian cannabis prohibition should come to an end. The United States of America is missing out on laying the groundwork for the future in the global cannabis trade. Other countries around the world are cementing themselves in this budding industry. Sadly, American lawmakers are wasting more taxpayer dollars like they always do over issues that should be resolved simply by acknowledging mistakes of the past and recognizing the future direction. If your eyes and ears are sewed shut, we have no use for you in government office anymore.
It’s Time for Change
The American people deserve the right to live a healthy life. Obviously, the federal government has not put our health first for quite some time. This only means it’s time for us to take control of our lives back from those who have taken control of it from us. It’s time to vote in newly elected leaders who listen to the people and actually follow through with what they say they will instead of false promises offering up plates of last year’s leftovers. Just think of how much money the health care system could save with cannabis replacing opioids alone. Imagine if your insurance covered your medical cannabis like it would cover opioids, benzos, and barbiturates. Imagine all the people’s lives that would change for the better.
Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist that fights to end prohibition globally for a better future for all. Ashley has a passion for sharing education pertaining to the goddess plant known as cannabis. She believes that a single seed can tip the scales and that together through education we can end the stigma that is preventing cannabis from flowering to its full potential globally.
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