Our Reaction to Rescheduling: It’s Politics, not Science

Our initial reaction to the announcement that the Biden Administration may reschedule marijuana is that it is a political move intended to get young voters. We have not seen a Press Release.  If true, this move is not based on science, or it’s based on bad science.  We support whatever Smart Approaches to Marijuana decides to do in terms of legal options or other avenues to stop rescheduling

More than 100 individuals who are victims of marijuana or have family members who are victims wrote to the DEA and the DOJ and pleaded with the DEA not to reschedule marijuana.  We’ve written about the differences between decriminalization, rescheduling and legalization with commercialization.

What are the short-term and long-term effects?

We do not know the short-term or long-term effects of moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III designation.  However, when Great Britain moved cannabis to a different, lower classification in 2002 (from B to C), it led to a rash of new mental health problems. The measure was undone within a few years.  Europeans are more likely than Americans to acknowledge their mistakes and undo them when they see new information. Even a British newspaper that at one time advocated for changing the law issued an apology: Cannabis: An Apology. 

Fat Chance the New York Times will ever apologize for their advocacy and for what happened in New York. In other words, it will be harder to change back in the US.  Marijuana legalization has not worked well in any US state.  Marijuana is not the same drug it was in the ’60s and ’70s and most people don’t understand the change.

Politicians who put aside public health and safety

What happened to the idea that our public servants have a duty to protect us?  Allowing cannabis to proliferate in the United States with its rampant advertising created a clear and present danger. Children are hospitalized every day for both psychotic breaks and acute illnesses from mistaking cannabis edibles for snacks.  No state has effectively prevented advertising and no state has regulated well.  Marijuana advertising lies, so where is the outrage?

We condemn both Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Vice President Kamala Harris for their shallow assessments of the issue.  Science does not support them.  We know both POTUS and the Attorney General are more knowledgeable and have been more truthful about marijuana in the past.  Can’t they put politics behind them?  If the Department of Justice changed its mind, then we know the lowest common denominator of human thought rules the day. 

Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland, who is a medical doctor, tweeted against rescheduling right away:

“Removing restrictions on an addictive gateway drug like Marijuana is a dangerous mistake. Numerous studies, including a recent and reputable study published by JAMA, points to the negative impact recreational marijuana has on the body and brain. If the Biden Administration follows through with rescheduling, this decision will be anti-science and harmful to public health and safety.”  

Just a Gateway or Harmful on its Own?

Marijuana is not laced when it causes extreme psychotic reactions.

Marijuana is a gateway drug, but it’s an extremely harmful substance in its own right.   Psychiatrist Martien Kooyman of the Netherlands warned back in 2014, “There is no justification to have different laws for cannabis than for other drugs labeled as ‘hard.’  The damage done from chronic use is worse than the damage done from chronic use of heroin.”

We plead with the Biden Administration not to make this cynical move to recruit young voters.