American veterans denied cannabis, even when it is the medicine of choice.

In an excellent Huffington Post, “VA Docs Prohibited From Discussing Medical Marijuana With Returning Vets,” Bob Kerrey and Jason Flom document the VA is stifling treatment options for American Veterans. These veterans, many suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD, are denied prescriptions of cannabis, which may well be the safest, most effect treatment option for this malady.

But beyond that, the VA physicians themselves are denied the right to even discuss medical marijuana as a treatment option. How ironic that those supposedly fighting for American freedom are denied the basic freedom of choice regarding his or her own health. Medical freedom is denied to both the veterans and their physicians by vindictive bureaucrats.

Such a policy is terribly wrong, in several ways.

  • Withholds the best medicine for pain and PTSD. As the article mentioned, medical cannabis may be uniquely suited for safely treating PTSD.
  • Forces vets to use stronger, more dangerous drugs. Cannabis also synergizes with other, more dangerous pain relievers, allowing for smaller dosages of opiate and pharmaceutical pain relievers.
  • The authoritarian policy tramples the right of free speech of physicians working for the VA. Doctors are required to first, do no harm. The VA demands they do harm by silencing recommendations to veterans for the best and safest medication for many ails.

The arrest of a veteran, especially a combat veteran, on a marijuana charge is the ultimate betrayal of a country to is loyal citizen. The withholding of safe and effective treatment options to the veteran is not far behind.

President Obama, a federal judge urges you to end Schedule I for marijuana.

The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug for the past decades has been a disaster of immense proportions, and a massive American injustice. This evil taints the lives of millions of American citizens unjustly arrested and prosecuted. The draconian scheduling evokes punitive mandatory minimums and helped turn the land of the free into the world’s biggest jailer.

The Schedule I rating of cannabis is based on absolute lies. Schedule I drugs are supposed to be highly addictive and damaging and have no medical value. Because cannabis has immense medical value, now proven beyond doubt, and is one of the safest and least harmful drugs, its Schedule I classification is abhorrent and cruel, useful only to the bureaucratic benefit of drug warriors.

Few evils could be as easily eradicated as those caused by the deceitful Schedule I classification. Although the DEA should not have its bloody hands nor jack boots upon cannabis at all, the reality is that the DEA administrator is currently being legally forced to consider a petition (filed 8 years ago) to down-schedule marijuana. All that would be required to make this desperately needed change is a phone call from President Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder.

Actually, the administrator’s decision will probably be made only after her Senate reconfirmation.  The fact that President Obama renominated a Bush appointee for DEA director is shameful. The fact that such a DEA bureaucrat holds the power to a decision of such importance to the country is nauseating. Michelle Leonhart should be grilled by the senators on this issue. Her confirmation should be rejected if she is reluctant to reclassify marijuana. Of course, given the authoritarian, neo-con, drug-war-monger make up of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the opposite is more likely.

Down-scheduling cannabis would provide an immense array of benefits to the USA and its people. Legal problems with the plant would be removed from the worst, most draconian penalties, their present status. Gestapo-like drug war tactics such as SWAT raids, asset forfeitures and mandatory minimum jail terms would no longer be supportable by less then Schedule I classification. Hemp agriculture would be jump-started in the USA if farmers did not have to worry about drug war thugs destroying their crops and bludgeoning their lives.

The federal government could begin catching up with its citizens and states on better drug policy and health care alternatives. Such a change would accommodate the increasing demand by the American people for access to cannabis-based medicine and a safer alternative to alcohol.  In nearly every case, when state voters have been given the option, they have elected to end prohibition of medical marijuana. In California, voters may soon elect end state prohibition of marijuana altogether. Already the state leads the country and the world in providing innovative forms of cannabis medication.

Federal Judge George H. Wu

Federal Judge George H. Wu

Adding to the voices pleading for down-scheduling, Mr. President, add now a federal judge in California, on the front lines of trying to implement discredited federal marijuana policy with conflicting mandates from the state and its citizens. Federal Judge George H. Wu is still presiding over the lamentable case of Charles C. Lynch, covered in an earlier post. As reported in Drug War Rant and Salem-News,

  • The sentencing order states that Lynch was “caught in the middle of shifting positions” on the issue and that, “Much of the problems could be ameliorated…by the reclassification of marijuana from schedule I”

Actually many of this country’s most pressing problems could be ended by the reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I. Additionally, dozens of new solutions to problems of health, fuel, food, housing and prosperity would be accomplished by the liberation of cannabis so easily attainable by a simple down-regulation. While Schedule II would be preferable, it is still far to harsh and restrictive. Pure THC in the pill form Marinol was down scheduled to Schedule III, so cannabis, far less potent, should be scheduled no higher than this. Actually, the least restrictive category, Schedule V would best fit cannabis/hemp, although even this classification keeps it somewhat under the thumb of DEA bureaucrats. Still, the worst legal harshness and research roadblocks would be gone.

It would be tragic were the Obama administration end with marijuana still at Schedule I. Such a sad circumstance would be a huge victory for bureaucracy over reason, and would mark the America’s neo-con decline into prohibition, persecution, retribution and incarceration. Please Mr. President, do the right thing. Instruct your DEA administrator to down-schedule cannabis!