Twenty-one states have enacted legislation legalizing medical marijuana use but federally marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug. The debate has been reignited across the country by the recent arrest of a Spokane, Washington family who is legal under Washington law but have been charged federally with production and distribution of marijuana as well as gun charges related to guns being found on their property.
Classifying a drug as schedule one declares that the drug, chemical, or substance has no medical benefit at all, is highly addictive either psychologically or physically, and has a high potential for abuse. The federal government maintains this current policy amid countrywide calls for re-classification. The hypocrisy of the entire argument is that federally the government produces medical marijuana for four patients.
1976 there was a little known court case; United States vs Robert Randall, in which Robert Randall was arrested for growing marijuana on his back porch to treat his glaucoma. Mr. Randall won that case by proving that marijuana would stop him from going blind and became the first patient of the newly formed Investigational New Drug Program. Dr. Hepler who testified during Mr. Randall’s case noted that marijuana normalized interocular pressure and lessening visual distortions something that conventional medicine couldn’t control.
Skip forward to 2014 and there are four living patients left from the Investigational New Drug Program. Every month the four patients recieve a metal tin from the federal government with three hundred pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes, free of charge. The government claims that they still provide the marijuana to the remaining patients out of compassion but if there is no medical benefit then why are they producing and still shipping out those magical tins of goodness every month? Why did marijuana provide medical benefit in 1976 but not in 2014?
These questions and more will have to be answered in the near future as more states legalize marijuana for medicinal use and as Colorado and Washington have both legalized recreational usage. Over one thousand disease are known to be treated by the cannabinoids contained within marijuana yet the federal government maintains that there is no medical benefit. The hypocrisy has fueled a war for over thirty years, cost the tax payers billions of dollars, and ruined countless lives.