While marijuana and heroin are both classified as schedule 1 drugs, the DEA chief finally admitted the truth yesterday: marijuana isn't nearly as dangerous or addictive or deadly.
Back in 2001, Congressman Barney Frank authored the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. It was the first bill designed to end the prohibition of marijuana.
The always outspoken Barney Frank still stands by that decision today:
On Monday, the American Psychological Association (APA), the country’s largest organization of psychologists, published findings from a new marijuana study in the peer-reviewed quarterly Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. What the APA discovered was that "chronic marijuana use among teenage boys does not appear to lead to later physical or mental health issues — like depression or psychotic symptoms — despite previous research to the contrary."
This groundbreaking data could have influenced a recent statement from Chuck Rosenberg, the new head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Vox reports that Rosenberg acknowledged what his predecessor could not: Yesterday he admitted that "heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana."
Rosenberg's previous answer (which was given a mere week ago, a week prior to the APA new study) was that marijuana is "probably" less dangerous than heroin.
"If you want me to say that marijuana's not dangerous, I'm not going to say that because I think it is," Rosenberg said, according to US News's Steven Nelson. "Do I think it's as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I'm not an expert."
This obviously inspired some criticism and mockery from media. Vox amusingly noted that this type of double-speak statement was "akin to politicians saying they're not scientists when asked if global warming is real. You may not be a scientist or an expert, but there is plenty of data and research out there to let you — a smart, thinking human being — decide what the facts are."
Well, I'm not a scientist either, but I know how Google works. I know how to look up factual scientific data in research journals.
Even though marijuana and heroin are classified as Schedule 1 narcotics (meaning the DEA considers they are equally dangerous), science has proven time and time again when it comes to "overdosing" on marijuana versus overdosing on heroin, there's a much greater probability a person will die from heroin.
Clearly, anyone with common sense already knows this to be true. For most of us, smoking pot is like drinking beer. It's a pasttime....not a career. But, some do make it into a lifestyle. There are alcoholics, just like there are burnt out potheads. The major difference is that a pothead might forget a thing or two without writing it down while an alcoholic can beat a spouse to death without hesitation.
“Decades of scare tactics and exaggerations about the potential harms of marijuana have failed to prevent many young people from trying it,” says Mason Tvert, director of communications at the Marijuana Policy Project. "Hopefully [the new APA study] will inspire parents, educators and government officials to have a more honest conversation with teens about marijuana."
Do you think the government will ever come clean and admit to whitewashing the truth about marijuana? Sound off below.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.
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