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History/Activism Science

Serial crime, premeditated and deceitful

by Simos Dalkyriadis

I understand that back in 1937, in the U.S., when the then Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act that imposed huge taxes on cannabis and essentially prohibited the cultivation and any use of the entire cannabis plant regardless of psychoactivity or not, the Senators either because of ignorance, or because of deception, or because of opposition and demonstration of political power between the Democrats and the Republicans, gave their vote and passed the law.

Since then 90 years have passed and although in the last 10 years there is thousands of evidence that hemp is a plant that can be used for a thousand and one uses (both as a medicine and as a food but also for industrial production) it remains in the same prohibition regime. Especially in 1970, when one would expect that the world had progressed enough than it was in 1937 and there was clearly more confidence in medical science, the U.S. is still passing a law, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act[2] where they classify substances in danger tables and place cannabis in Table I along with the most dangerous drugs that are considered to have no medical value.

And as decades go by and scientists in medical science are discovering more and more evidence that proves that cannabis is a veritable chemical factory for the manufacture of drugs that treat and cure difficult diseases, the ban at the federal level remains. And we have the paradox that 28 states and the District of Columbia in the U.S. (50 are all) have legalized the medical use of cannabis, but its federal government insists on keeping a strict ban on cannabis with its watchdog the DEA (the Drug Enforcement Agency) to hunt relentlessly in any remaining states to consider cannabis illegal and in whatever jurisdiction is considered federal territory.

If we consider that in 1937 the ban on cannabis was a crime committed ‘negligently’, the maintenance of the ban today, now that so many thousands of lives are being lost as a result of this ban, cannot be said to be a serial crime of premeditation?

The lives lost because the gratuitous ban on cannabis continues, especially when more and more scientific evidence is calling for the ban to be lifted and for large-scale clinical trials to be carried out immediately on humans, it is a crime against humanity, a brutal murder of people who are in the most vulnerable position because of a disease or an untreated condition with other medicines.

Cannabis Saves Lives

According to one study, published by the University of Indiana, about 47,500 American lives could be saved each year if medical cannabis were legal throughout the U.S.

The study:

“Cannabis use is associated with a substantial reduction in premature deaths in the United States” (Cannabis use is linked to a significant reduction in premature deaths in the US)

Summary

“The side effects of moderate cannabis use on physical health are subtle and rarely fatal, while cannabis use is associated with reduced rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, mortality from traumatic brain injuries, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving deaths and opioid overdose deaths. These data suggest that cannabis use may reduce premature deaths. To date, no attempts have been explored to assess the effects of cannabis use on premature death that include both adverse and beneficial effects on physical health. Cannabis use is estimated to reduce premature deaths from diabetes mellitus, cancer and traumatic brain injury from 989 to 2,511 deaths for every 1% of the population using cannabis. The analysis predicts that about 23,500 to 47,500 deaths would be prevented annually if the medical use of cannabis were legal nationwide. A number of other possible causes of reduced mortality due to cannabis use were identified, but were excluded from the analysis because no quantitative data were available. These estimates fundamentally underestimate the real impact of cannabis use on premature death. Overall, the ban is estimated to lead to a similar number of premature deaths, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter or fatal opioid overdose. Cannabis use prevents thousands of premature deaths each year, and the cannabis ban is revealed as a leading cause of premature death in the U.S.”

The study, compiled by Dr. Thomas M. Clark, looked at the research published since 2000 and evaluated the impact of legalized medicinal cannabis on potentially fatal diseases and the American methodology.

For the study, researchers looked at the effects of cannabis on obesity, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, liver disease, traumatic brain injury, neurodegenerative/neuroinflammatory diseases, opioid overdose, alcohol consumption and driving.

The cannabis ban was thought to be responsible for about 6,100 to 9,000 deaths a year. The new study concluded that the ban is as deadly to the American public as driving under the influence of substances, homicide, or fatal opioid addiction.

Subsequently, data on changes in mortality rates or harmful behaviours after the legalisation of medical use of cannabis were requested and analysed.

Contrary to previous calculations, the study noted that “cannabis use appears to prevent about 17,400 to 38,500 premature deaths per year.”

Unlike the outdated “Reefer Madness,” other recent studies support this new indiana university research.

Another 2014 study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that legalizing the medical use of cannabis can reduce suicide rates by five percent among the general population. Suicide rates are reduced by 10 percent among the young male population.

The 2014 study, compiled by professors at Montana State, San Diego State and the University of Colorado in Denver, analyzed 17 years of suicide statistics per 10,000 people in states where the medical use of cannabis was legal from 1990 to 2007.

Using the statistics of the states in which cannabis is still completely illegal as a control group, the authors of the study concluded that in the states with the legal medical use of cannabis the suicide rate for men 20-29 decreased by 10.9% and for men aged 30-39 by 9.4%;

Savings of more than $1 billion a year

A study published in April 2017 found that if all 50 states legalized the medical use of cannabis they would save American taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year, as patients would have switched from prescription drugs to cannabis to cure their condition, Vice reports.

This study was published in the journal Health Affairs by a father-and-daughter research team at the University of Georgia. It compared Medicaid’s prescription spending in 2014 in states with laws on the medical use of cannabis with states where cannabis remains completely illegal.

Statistically and economically significant reductions in the use of prescription drugs have occurred in states that allow the medical use of cannabis.

The researchers, public policy professor David Bradford and master’s student Ashley Bradford, wrote that the findings “suggest that patients and doctors in the community are reacting to the availability of medical use of cannabis as if it were a drug,” not just as a way to get a euphoric feeling.

Bradfords noted that so far “almost nothing” has been known about how policies on the medical use of cannabis affect health care spending.

Conclusions:

Every person who dies when he could be saved from cannabis is a death by crime and weighs down without any extenuating circumstances all those who can lift the ban and do not.

The Green Greeks Magazine

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