Dispensaries in sight from U.S. Capitol Dome: The Hypocrisy of Marijuana Prohibition
The unruly Schedule I narcotic: high potential for abuse, lack of accepted safety and no accepted medicinal value. You know, weed, right? Due to a monstrous reputation that has been haphazardly patched together over the past century through reefer madness and falsified studies, marijuana has become a punishable crime in the United States. Remarkably, empirical evidence reveals that these allegations applying to the requirements meeting the Schedule I category are highly contradictory and entirely false.
Studies and historical documentation suggests cannabis use is safe, resourceful and economical while its prohibition is ineffective, illogical and even damaging to society. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, $51 billion dollars are spent annually on the “War on Drugs”- not to mention the billions we’re missing out on. 757,969 Americans were arrested for a marijuana violation in 2011 (87% was for possession only) and more than 200,000 college students lost financial aid ability due to ganja convictions. Claims about increases in potency are overstated, marijuana has not been shown to cause mental illness, marijuana use has not been shown to increase risk of cancer, marijuana use has been proven successful in combating a myriad of medical conditions, marijuana use has not been shown to cause long-term cognitive impairment and there is no sufficient evidence marijuana substantially contributes to traffic accidents and fatalities. Federal regulations run hypocritically with the 18 states- plus Washington D.C.- that allow the use of medical marijuana in conjunction with the two states that have completely legalized.
The greatest contradiction has now come into effect: a medical marijuana dispensary visible from Capitol Hill. While medical has been legal in D.C. since 2010 via Amend Act B18-622, Federal law still says its a Schedule I narcotic, with no medicinal value.
According to a Pew Research poll released April 4, 52 percent of Americans support the recreational legalization of marijuana. According to the same Pew statistics, 48 percent admitted to smoking weed and 47 percent attributed the use as just for fun.
It seems a new reefer madness is sweeping over America, but the real debate for D.C. is whether or not the government is ready to keep up with reality.