The FDA’s Reasons for Not Rescheduling Marijuana are Crazy

Vice News recently obtained documents that show the reasons the FDA advised the DEA not to reschedule marijuana.

They’re…interesting. Here are the reasons Vice laid out from the information provided in the documents:
“Marijuana is addictive to monkeys. The FDA cited a study conducted in 2000 on squirrel monkeys that were trained to self-administer THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in weed. Researchers found that the monkeys liked to get high, and the FDA said such studies are ‘often useful in predicting rewarding effects in humans, and is indicative of abuse liability.’”

Here the FDA has identified that if you lock a small monkey in a cage, where it is likely distressed and/or depressed, it will keep hitting that THC button over and over. Is this surprising? Even if they did truly identify that THC is addictive, it would seem it is only habitually addictive, like many, many legal products.

“People prefer to smoke marijuana. Noting that many people prefer to smoke marijuana rather than take it in pill form, the FDA compared weed to cocaine, opium, heroin, and meth.”

I’ll concede something here. People do seem to enjoy smoking marijuana the most, of all the options available, and smoking marijuana does appear to be the least healthy way to consume it. Vaping, eating or drinking marijuana is very safe. That said, any ills created by smoking it are likely small compared to the benefits.

Getting high makes users feel funny. The FDA listed nine common effects of marijuana, including ‘increased merriment and appetite,’ ‘heightened imagination,’ ‘disorganized thinking,’ ‘illusions, delusions, and hallucinations,’ and ‘agitation, paranoia, confusion, drowsiness, and panic attacks, which are most common in experienced or high-dosed users.’”

Okay. Increasing merriment and appetite? So what? Heightened imagination? So what? Disorganized thinking? Depends on the strain and the person. Illusions, delusions and hallucinations? I highly doubt it. All of these claims depend on strains and who’s smoking.

“It’s easy to buy weed. The agency noted that marijuana is ‘more widely available from illicit sources rather than through legitimate channels,’ which seems obvious considering that the drug remains illegal for non-medical users in all but four states.”

REALLY? As the Vice writer noted, of course this is the case. And your furthering of prohibition is the reason.
“Marijuana is popular. In a section about the ‘history and current pattern of abuse,’ the FDA cites 2012 data that says 111.2 million Americans — more than 42 percent of the U.S. population — used marijuana at least once, and 7.6 million people use it on a “daily or almost daily basis.”

And? Since when has popularity affected if something is legal or considered medicine? Shouldn’t the fact it’s popular and readily available, as they say, prove that prohibition is not working at all?

Those are all the reasons that the FDA gave for being against rescheduling. The worst thing about this whole story is that the FDA admits in a statement to Vice that they encourage more research into how marijuana can be used medically, and they are interested in “developing therapies from marijuana.”

You know what would make that easier? Rescheduling it. We’re not even talking about legalization here. Even just making it Schedule II would mean it’s still considered to have a “high potential for abuse.” But no, the War on Drugs continues, and we all pay the price for it.

Source: The 420 Times
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