By Simos Dalkyriadis
I understand that back in 1937 in the United States, when the Congress voted the Marijuana Tax Act, which imposed tremendous taxes on cannabis and essentially prohibited the cultivation and use of the entire cannabis plant, regardless its psychoactivity or not, Senators either because of ignorance ,deception, or because of the controversy and demonstration of political power between Democrats and Republicans, gave their vote and passed the law.
It’s been 90 years since and although in the last 10 years there were thousands of proofs that cannabis is a plant that can be used for a lot of uses (both as a medicine and as food and for industrial production), it remained in the same prohibition regime. Especially in 1970, one would expect that the world had gone well beyond what it was back in 1937 and there was a stronger confidence in medical science, the US still passed a law, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act , where they ranked substances in hazard tables and have placed hemp in Table I along with the most dangerous drugs that are considered to have no medical value.
And as decades pass and scientists in medical science discover more evidence that cannabis is a real chemist-producing plant for the manufacture of medicine that treat and cure difficult diseases, the ban on the federal level remains. And we have the paradox of 28 states and the Columbia region in the US (all are 50) have legitimized the medical use of cannabis, but its federal government insists on keeping a strict ban on cannabis with the DEA watchdog (the Drug Enforcement Service) hunting relentlessly, in any states that are left considering cannabis illegal and wherever jurisdiction is considered to be federal territory.
If we consider that in 1937 the ban on cannabis was a “negligent” crime, maintaining the current ban now, with so many thousands of lives are lost as a result of this ban, can we say that this isn’t a serial crime premeditated?
The lives that are lost because of the unnecessary ban on cannabis, when more and more scientific evidence is begging for the lift of the ban and the conduction of large-scale clinical trials directly on humans, is a crime against humanity, a brutal murder of people in the most vulnerable position due to an illness or a non-treatable disease.
Cannabis saves lives
According to a study, published by the University of Indiana, about 47,500 lives of Americans could be saved each year, if medical cannabis was legal in the United States.
“Cannabis use is associated with a substantial reduction in premature deaths in the United States”
“The adverse effects of moderate cannabis use on physical health are subtle and rarely fatal, whereas cannabis use is associated with reduced rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus, mortality from traumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving deaths and death from opioid overdose. These data suggest that cannabis use can reduce premature deaths. Till this day, no attempt has been made to assess the impact of cannabis use on premature death, including both adverse and beneficial effects on physical health. Cannabis use is estimated to reduce premature deaths from diabetes, cancer and traumatic brain injury from 989 to 2,511 deaths for every 1% of the population who use cannabis. The analysis predicts that about 23,500 to 47,500 deaths would be prevented annually if the medical use of cannabis was legal at a national level. Other possible causes of reduced mortality due to cannabis use, have been identified but were excluded from the analysis because there were no quantitative data. These estimates substantially underestimate the actual impact of cannabis use on premature death. Overall, the ban is estimated to result in a similar number of premature deaths, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, homicide or lethal overdose of opioids. Cannabis use prevents thousands of premature deaths each year and the ban on cannabis is revealed as the leading cause of premature death in the US. ”
The study, written by Dr. Thomas M. Clark, examined the research published in 2000 and assessed the impact of legalized cannabis into 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 ban on cannabis was thought to be responsible for about 6,100 to 9,000 deaths per year. The new study concluded that the ban is as fatal to the American public as driving under the influence of drugs, or manslaughter or lethal opiate addiction.
Data on changes in mortality rates or harmful behaviors, following the legalization of medicinal use of cannabis, were subsequently requested and analyzed.
Contrary to previous calculations, the study noted that “cannabis use seems to prevent approximately 17,400 to 38,500 premature deaths per year.”
Contrary to 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 cannabis use can reduce suicide rates by five per cent 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-year suicide statistics per 10,000 people, in states where medical use of cannabis was legal between 1990 and 2007.
Using the statistics of states where cannabis is still totally illegal as a control group, the authors of the study concluded that in states with legal cannabis use, the suicide rate for men 20-29 was reduced by 10, 9% and for men aged 30-39 by 9.4%.
Saving more than $ 1 billion a year
A study published in April 2017 found that if all fifty states legalized the medical use of cannabis, they would save US taxpayers more than a billion dollars a year, as patients would switch from prescription drugs to hemp, to cure their condition, says Vice.
This study was published in the Health Affairs magazine, by a research team of father and daughter, at the University of Georgia. The cost of prescription drugs of Medicaid in 2014, in states with laws on medical use of cannabis, with states where cannabis remains totally illegal, has been compared.
Statistically and economically significant reductions in prescription drug use have occurred in states that allow medical use of cannabis.
Researchers, public policy professor David Bradford and master’s student Ashley Bradford, wrote that the findings “suggest that community patients and doctors react to the availability of cannabis as if it were a medicine”, not just as a way to get euphoric feelings.
The Bradfords noted that so far “almost nothing” has been known about how cannabis medication policies affect healthcare expences.
For anyone who is left to die, while he could be saved from cannabis, it is a death from crime and it is without any doubt a weight on anyone who can stop the ban and does not do so.
The Green Greeks Magazine