Attorney General Holder Shows Evolved Opinion on Marijuana
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 09/29/2014 in Medical Marijuana Laws
With the news of Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation making headlines last week, it appears that the once cannabis opponent may now be more receptive than he has ever been for the possible re-scheduling of marijuana into a less dangerous and more beneficial class of drug. In an interview with Yahoo Global News’ Katie Couric that was released last Thursday September 25th, Attorney General Holder states;
“I think it’s certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin. Especially given what we’ve seen recently with regard to heroin – the progression of people from using opioids to heroin use, the spread and the destruction that heroin has perpetrated all around our country. And to see by contrast, what the impact is of marijuana use. Now it can be destructive if used in certain ways, but the question not whether or not they should be in the same category is something that we need to ask ourselves and use science as the basis for making that determination.”
Under the nation’s current Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is deemed to be a Schedule 1 drug. This puts it alongside such hard and deadly drugs as heroin, LSD, mescaline, acid, and MDMA. Schedule 1 substances, according to the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) possess a “high potential for abuse” and contain “no currently accepted medical use.” The problem and somewhat ironic part of this definition is that modern, as well as ancient science tells us that in regards to marijuana neither of these limiting conditions are in fact true. An increasingly overwhelming amount of scientific and medical information exists and is continuing to come out that shows us that marijuana does in fact demonstrate therapeutic and medically valuable properties and effects. Currently 23 states and the District of Columbia have created legislation outlining the acceptable use and distribution of medical marijuana, a reality that flies directly into the wind and hot hair being bellowed by the federal government and its affiliated agencies.
Purified, more concentrated forms of marijuana have been used to treat types of aggressive cancer, with many patients experiencing positive and favorable results. Additionally cannabis has shown potential to help better regulate blood sugar in diabetic patients and may also assist in the slowdown of the spread of HIV. Data also may indicate that in places where medical marijuana has been legalized lower suicide and prescription drug overdoses have been reported.
Recently columnist Jacob Sullum wrote an article in Forbes Magazine (which we highly suggest you read) that explained how the scheduling of cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance creates barriers and slows down federal funding for legitimate and clinical research into the known benefits of marijuana. He argues that marijuana should be moved to a Schedule 3 classification at the very most so that state research universities can begin to delve deeper into cannabis’ true potential.
When asked by Mrs. Couric what if he thinks marijuana should be decriminalized at the federal level, Attorney Holder said, “That’s for congress to decide. I think we’ve taken a look at the experiments that are going on in Colorado and Washing, and we’re going to see what happens there, and that’ll help inform us as to what we want to do on the federal level,”
When further prodded by Couric who asked “For you, the jury is still out?” to which Holder replied “Yeah, it is”.
After the interview Tom Angell, chairman for the national advocacy group Marijuana Majority told a Huffington Post reporter “It’s refreshing to hear these remarks from the attorney general, especially since the science couldn’t be any clearer that marijuana doesn’t meet the criteria for being classified as a Schedule 1 substance, numerous studies confirm marijuana’s medical value, and if the administration is serious about taking an objective look at this issue, rescheduling is very achievable by the time this president leaves office. They can do this administratively without any further action from Congress.”