Dear Gil Kerlikowske,
When Barack Obama was running for office, he said “My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else.” In October 2009, the Ogden Memo states “As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Just this January, he said, “I think this is an entirely legitimate topic for debate.” Where’s our debate?
I find it silly that you, the man required by law to: “(12) … ensure that no Federal funds appropriated to the Office of National Drug Control Policy shall be expended for any study or contract relating to the legalization (for a medical use or any other use) of a substance listed in schedule I of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance (in any form)” would be allowed to respond to The People on this issue.
The National Institute for Drug Abuse and the National Institute for Heath are both controlled by your office. These organizations are funded by taxpayer dollars to study only the possible harmful effects, produce propaganda and stop the general public from learning the truth. Neither of these organizations, or the FDA, are willing to approve open-minded studies.
So, I ask you: If the President of the United States, the FDA, or the ONDCP is genuinely interested in science and research, why does every open-minded cannabis study get rejected? Scientists around the world are allowed to study it, and they’ve discovered some pretty amazing things. American scientists are just sitting around, wishing they could get approval. If you won’t let America catch up and rejoin the global scientific community, would you at least consider reviewing the research?
You claim that marijuana is addictive, but the definition of addiction was changed in the 1970′s, so now anything is addictive. Don’t believe me? Get a dictionary from the 1960′s and compare the definitions.
You say that marijuana does not meet the “modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.” I find that surprising considering the millions of drugs produced by the pharmaceutical companies, FDA approved drugs available over the counter or with a prescription that often have a list of side effects longer than my arm.
Many years ago, my doctor told me to take a pill called Xanax. When I got the prescription filled, the pharmacist gave me several pages of warnings and possible side effects. I noticed one of many was “tell your doctor if you have… a history of depression or suicidal thoughts”. I thought that was odd, because that’s why he told me to take it. I was only on the pill three weeks, and during those three weeks I experienced severe depression, increased thoughts of suicide, dizziness, fainting, more pronounced mood swings, insominia, nausea, blurred vision, and forgetfulness. One morning I had a grapefruit for breakfast, and woke up in the hospital that afternoon. After a long heart-to-heart conversation with my doctor, he finally grew a pair and reccommended marijuana. In more than ten years of daily use, I have experienced none of the side effects mentioned on the NIDA website. In fact, in some cases, I’ve experienced the exact opposite. Thanks to that very brave doctor, and this wonderful plant, I am a functional, productive, taxpaying member of society.
Every substance is assigned something called an “LD50″. I found it interesting that I couldn’t find a Xanax LD50 in humans, but “‘The acute oral LD50 in rats is 331–2171 mg/kg.” I realize this may be a little before your time, but do you remember Judge Francis Young? According to the findings in 1988: “At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within
about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.” Since it is impossible to consume 100 pounds of marijuana in a minute, I just don’t see how this can be considered dangerous.
According to Title 21, Food And Drugs, CHAPTER 21-28, Uniform Controlled Substances Act, ARTICLE 21-28-5.01, Powers of Enforcement Personnel, SECTION 21-28-5.13 : ” If any provision of this chapter or the application of it to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.”
Out of respect, I took a moment to look at the data you linked to your response regarding emergency room admissions and marijuana. Perhaps you failed to notice the astronomical rates of admission for pharmaceuticals? Maybe you thought we’d be too stoned to notice that admissions for adverse reactions for pharmaceuticals has nearly doubled? Look at it again. I also notice there’s no differentiation between the real stuff and the synthetic stuff. I wonder what the real numbers are. The admission data you cited is from four years ago. Since then, voluntary admission rates have undoubtedly risen. What would you do if you got caught with a joint and were given the choice of six months in jail or drug treatment?
You acknowledge we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. In 75 years, this nation has spent more than a trillion dollars destroying the lives of more than 20 million of its own citizens. All this has resulted in our ability to boast about having only 25% of the world’s population living inside our borders, and the highest prison population in the world. More than 75% of these prisoners are non-violent prisoners of prohibition. If you think these prisoners aren’t a tremendous drain on our very limited tax dollars, you’re wrong.
Did you actually read the Global Commission’s report? What about the one LEAP gave you? They both recognize the drug war is an epic failure. If the whole world can see the truth, why does the United States insist on ignoring it?
The President’s Drug Control Strategy is nothing more than the same old failed tactics. Just this year, these failed tactics have resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 civilians along our southern border. Don’t try to feed me that line about how they were criminals, I know better. They were children and teachers. The answer to ending the drug war lies in simple economics: If you allow the American people a legal alternative to the black market, they will take it. The only way to stop the demand for Mexican Marijuana is to grow it right here in the United States. That would be a serious blow to the cartels, because marijuana is a significant source of their funding. Just think of all that money that could be fueled into our economy. Your commitment to waste more tax dollars combating this “problem” isn’t going to work. Spending more money on prisons and propaganda won’t work. It never has, it never will. Our Law Enforcement Officers have much more serious problems they need to focus on. Locking up a bunch of taxpayers for ingesting a plant that has been scientifically proven to be safer than alcohol or tobacco is not going to help our economy.
Every day across this country, American citizens are traumatized by police using military tactics. Family pets are murdered in front of young children, homes are being destroyed by flash grenades. In our schools, we waste valuable classroom time brainwashing children with misinformation generated by your office. Every day, healthy, cared for, well-adjusted children are being ripped from their homes and placed into an overcrowded “child protection” system just because their parents are using marijuana as medicine. How does this make communities healthier and safer?
We are not addicts, we are patients. Arresting us and forcing us to go to treatment is not going to help anyone. Really, what’s the difference between you taking a pill for your heart every morning and me smoking a marijuana cigarette or eating a “cannabis chip cookie”? Oh, right, I almost forgot. Your medicine is produced by the pharmaceutical industry, and our medicine is produced by GOD.