Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Obama and Medical Marijuana

For those hoping that the Obama Administration would usher in an era of change in the federal government,there is more disappointing news. Instead of “change,” the Obama Administration is continuing an anti-science policy of lies to the American people: U.S. decrees that marijuana has no accepted medical use

Marijuana has been approved by California, many other states and the nation’s capital to treat a range of illnesses, but in a decision announced Friday the federal government ruled that it has no accepted medical use and should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin.

There are millions of Americans who have smoked marijuana and therefore know this to be a complete and utter lie. And that’s there own personal knowledge, it’s not including the numerous studies that have shown this comparison to be wildly exaggerated. Continuing:

The decision comes almost nine years after medical marijuana supporters asked the government to reclassify cannabis to take into account a growing body of worldwide research that shows its effectiveness in treating certain diseases, such as glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Advocates for the medical use of the drug criticized the ruling but were elated that the Obama administration has finally acted, which allows them to appeal to the federal courts. The decision to deny the request was made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and comes less than two months after advocates asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to force the administration to respond to their petition.

“We have foiled the government’s strategy of delay, and we can now go head-to-head on the merits,” said Joe Elford, the chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access and the lead attorney on the lawsuit.

The DEA’s decision comes as researchers continue to identify beneficial effects. Dr. Igor Grant, a neuropsychiatrist who is the director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at UC San Diego, said state-supported clinical trials show that marijuana helps with neuropathic pain and muscle spasticity. He said the federal government’s position discourages scientists from pursuing research needed to test the drug’s medical effectiveness. “We’re trapped in kind of a vicious cycle here,” he said. “It’s always a danger if the government acts on certain kinds of persuasions or beliefs rather than evidence.”

Popular opinion has also swung behind medical marijuana. Americans overwhelmingly support it in national polls. When the petition was filed, eight states had approved medical marijuana. Now 16 states and the District of Columbia have done so. In 2009, the American Medical Assn. urged the government to review its classification of marijuana “with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.

When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, it listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive of five categories. But some federal officials have questioned that decision. In 1972, a commission recommended that marijuana be decriminalized. And in 1988, a DEA administrative law judge concluded that “marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people.” The National Cancer Institute, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, notes that marijuana may help with nausea, loss of appetite, pain and insomnia.

Supporters of the administration can rightfully point out that this policy wasn’t started under President Obama, but that doesn’t excuse the administration from continuing a policy of deceit based on ignoring scientific evidence. But while support for reexamining marijuana laws continues to gain support on both the left and the right, the Obama administration has repeatedly opted to escalate the drug war – from threatening California over their marijuana ballot initiative, to warrant-less GPS tracking, to Operation Fast and Furious. Mexico has a blood-bath on their hands, minority youth in America are disproportionally imprisoned and the sick and suffering are blocked from getting relief their doctors believe will help them. This isn’t change – it’s more of the same.

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