In today's world, the political environment is an ugly perversion of what our forefathers had in mind when they first penned the words "We the people..." Then, we were a people united by the freedoms a non-corrupt, citizen-driven government provided. Unfortunately, over the years, the democracy and capitalism we once valued for building our great nation became distorted into political division and personal greed.
This week's Quora question makes us wonder – Do we the people have a say in anything at all anymore, or will the information era prevail over false propaganda?
Q: “What do you think about President Trump creating a Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee in an effort to prevent Americans from having access to marijuana?”
A: So, let's start by talking about the facts for those who haven't heard the latest cannabis news out of Washington.
Maybe in his most Nixon-like action yet, last week, in an announcement made at BuzzFeed, leaked information revealed the Trump administration is taking a lesson from the history books. Following in Harry Anslinger's footsteps, Trump formed a committee to work on a smear campaign in an attempt to counter the growing acceptance of marijuana. The committee, composed of several federal agencies, is tasked with painting cannabis and cannabis consumers as a national threat.
Now, let's review the April 2016 Edition of Harper's Magazine, when Dan Baum interviewed John Ehrlichman, a Watergate co-conspirator and right-hand man to Richard Nixon. In the article, Baum quoted Ehrlichman talking about Nixon's war on drugs,
"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did."
Now – I'm going to refer back to the blog I wrote last week – where I stated, "Cannabis threatens their system," and now, they are reacting much the same way Nixon did in the 60s and 70s.
So What Do I Think?
I think it's laughable, because in the pursuit of "Making America Great Again" – they have failed to understand it's not 1974 anymore. In the age of information, we have the tools and the ability to dispel false propaganda.
You just can't start with a bias and expect people to have any faith in what you're saying, especially in science and medicine. The government strictly forbids the cannabis industry from talking about the “potential” health benefits of cannabis, they can't make health claims about their products, have to put disclaimers on the bottles, etc. – yet this anti-cannabis committee will readily proliferate all the data-twisted studies about cannabis they can. How does that logic fit into a democracy where 64 percent of the nation believes it should be legal across the board, and more than 95 percent think it should be readily accessible for medical purposes?
In 1937, people relied on the stories the government provided them – they believed in Anslinger's "Gore Files" because they had no way to learn about them on their own. Unlike in the days of Anslinger and Nixon – today, we have the internet, and we aren't spoon-fed our data and research through censored, FCC-controlled airways and news channels. We get up-to-the-minute news from around the world – where cannabis is being thoroughly studied and proven as a medical powerhouse.
In a recent study published out of the University of New Mexico, reveals crowd-sourced cannabis consumer data shows more than 100,000 people successfully using cannabis to treat a wide range of ailments, reducing symptoms by an average of 40 percent. We can't all be wrong.
Today, we have nine states which already allow recreational cannabis consumption, and we have 31 states which have some medical cannabis law on the books. Our neighbors in Canada and several other countries are pioneering cannabis law changes, to benefit people as well as their national economies. Israel has incredible research initiatives and is leading the way to better understanding cannabis for health. A European-based company received U.S. FDA-approval to produce the world's first pharmaceutical derived from marijuana, Epidiolex, and at the cost of over $32k per patient ? you can bet a lot of people will benefit financially from that drug.
And what's the U.S. doing? We're deliberately trying to sway public opinion to fit the agenda of a few at the top of the food chain.
Poor Use of Resources
Additionally, I question this use of resources when we have an opiate epidemic taking the lives of 200 people a day, every single day. Yet, we're wasting tax dollars on a secret committee to disparage cannabis use – which has never killed anyone. Wouldn't these resources be better utilized combatting a problem which is taking the lives of innocent people and destroying so many others in the process?
I can only look at my own experiences in the cannabis industry and how my life was before. Had it not been for cannabis, and learning how to use it appropriately, I do not doubt; I would've lost my husband to his legal opiate addiction. But with the help of a forbidden herb, not only did he walk away from opiates without withdrawal, our marriage and our health were saved in the process.
Through my own experiences, seeing how my life has changed; working in the industry and seeing how other's lives have been changed – I personally find the attack on marijuana science and research disgusting and deplorable. While people die, our administration wants to twist facts to suit a political agenda.
Thanks for bringing a great topic to light. We need to speak out against biases like these and bring awareness to the challenges we still face in the industry.
Ask me anything about cannabis – industry, laws, culture, and science! Look me up on Quora, ask a question, and you might find your answer here all of Leafbuyer's audience to read!