Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, has a message for Americans suffering from chronic pain: Take two Bufferin and tough it out.
Not to be outdone, Whitehouse Opioid Czar, Kellyanne Conway has a suggestion for young people hooked on highly addictive painkillers: Eat more ice cream and french fries.
Neither of these ideas is a solution to America’s opioid epidemic. But then, Sessions and Conway are not addiction experts. Or any kind of experts at all, as far as I can tell.
Unfortunately, Sessions and Conway are all too representative of the “leadership” we see during this time of tragic crises. These so-called leaders lack a fundamental understanding of the problem they’re allegedly trying to solve. In that light, their outrageous and misguided suggestions are not at all surprising.
Not only does Sessions reject alternative pain management, he openly mocks the idea that cannabis can be a solution to the opioid crisis.
On the one hand, you have highly addictive prescription drugs. In just one year, more Americans died from opioids than died in the entire Vietnam war.
On the other hand, you have a non-toxic plant that has literally never killed anyone. Unfortunately, that non-toxic plant happens to be classified as a schedule 1 drug, which means that it is officially as dangerous as heroin. Never mind the fact that no such danger has ever been proven.
Meanwhile, patients in states with legal cannabis are finding alternative pain relief on their own — federal drug laws be damned. As a result, a mountain of evidence is growing in support of cannabis as a safe and effective alternative to deadly opioids.
Recent research indicates that access to legal cannabis has the impact of lowering the total number of opioids prescribed as well as the total number of deaths related to opioid overdose.
It’s a truly odd thing: this supposedly addictive and dangerous schedule 1 drug hasn’t killed anyone. Meanwhile, prescription painkillers have turned into a modern plague, wiping out tens of thousands of American lives.
The drug classification system, as defined by the Controlled Substances Act, is woefully out of touch with reality. It’s time to de-schedule cannabis — remove it entirely from the classification of drugs that are highly dangerous. Doing so will allow more Americans to have access to an effective and non-lethal alternative to opioids. De-scheduling will also open the floodgates of research, which will result in long overdue studies on cannabis.
But let’s be honest, cannabis de-scheduling is not likely to happen as long as the Bufferin and ice cream crowd are in charge.