Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction
Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction
Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.
By D. S. Mitchell
The Controlled Substance Act
In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.
Fear Of Success
The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”
Imprisonment Of Minorities
The CSA as enforced was repressive to the point of tyrannical, in its result. Arrests for small amounts of marijuana led to the wholesale destruction of entire communities. Long sentences for young Black and Latino males skyrocketed, filling the prisons with drug offenders. While the government was fighting its “war on (illegal) drugs,” the pharmaceutical industry ramped up research and production. Opioids would soon become the new scourge of the country. But, it was legal, so what the hell. It would be nearly forty years before the damage done by opioids would be seriously addressed. Big Pharma took advantage of television advertising and began “selling” medications to the public, creating a demand at the doctor’s office for prescription drugs, especially pain killers, like Oxycontin.
Don’t Believe It
The ‘cure’ promised by television commercials, magazine ads, and your personal physician, frequently come at a high price. We have all heard the classic MD speech, “Take one pill every morning and you’ll be as good as new.” It seems to me at least, our modern healthcare system, has a lot to do with pushing pills. Doctors are only human, they are rushed and they are overworked. It only makes sense that they often fall back on a cookie cutter approach when treating patients. Whether it is pain, depression, anxiety, or a mood disorder, there is a pharmaceutical just waiting to be ordered. A majority of these prescription medications leave you in a fog and come with a laundry list of side effects.
Cannabis has been found to be helpful for pain relief, PTSD, sleep disorders, appetite stimulation, anxiety, glaucoma, diarrhea, high blood pressure, depression, and much more. With such success from an herb, why would we continue to use lab created medications? Many of these lab created drugs cause disruptive side effects. In fact, many of the side effects would be disabling if the patient wasn’t prescribed more pills to correct the imbalance created by the first pill.
Misinformation And Absurdity
Over the past century the American public has been misinformed and led to believe that taking man-made pills is the only way to fix our physical ailments and mental health symptoms. This is a faulty narrative. A plant has had its reputation smeared and been criminalized. In the war on drugs, the federal government classified cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, putting it in the same category as speed and heroin. Such a designation for cannabis is a known absurdity.
Schedule 1 Substance
State actions welcome. The CSA designation has been eaten away at slowly, as more and more states have adopted medical marijuana laws, ignoring federal prohibitions. While some opponents have identified Cannabis as a “Gateway” drug, advocates recognize that in all reality, marijuana may be a way out. Cannabis may be a life preserver for people struggling with other forms of addiction, whether that be opioids, heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Cannabis advocates believe the plant can assist with withdrawal and open the door to a brighter life. Anecdotally, when individuals with opioid use disorders shift to Cannabis they are immediately safer and healthier. Their families are safer and happier.
Ideally, freedom from dependence on substances is the goal, but not always an accomplishable reality. Life is hard. Using Cannabis as an exit drug gives people an option to get out of a bad situation into a better one. There is a burgeoning cannabinoid (CBD) market along with the more traditional (THC) market offering plant based options. The potential here is a healthier way of living, while healing both the body and the mind. Cannabis is easy on the body, in contrast to many lab generated medications. There is a wide variety of brands, offering medicinally focused products, including capsules with extended releases, and highly accurate dosages. Creams and lotions for joint pain, tinctures for migraines, capsules for abdominal distress, are all available.
How About Now
A total of 36 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have approved comprehensive, publicly available medical Marijuana/Cannabis programs. If you live in one of these states or territories, and you haven’t visited a Cannabis dispensary, now might be the right time. Your local dispensary can provide you with great information. Or, if you are uncomfortable with the dispensary, look for a specialty store that sells only CBD products. You may be able to replace certain prescription pills with Cannabis products. With precise testing the exact THC or CBD content can now be identified and is now disclosed on all packaging. Consumers can confidently take the exact recommended dosage, without worry.
These advancements are a good thing. It has opened the door for more people to examine their relationship to Cannabis. Folks who are frightened of trying Cannabis can now be more confident in the delivery dosages. Such accountability makes it a safe experience without the cloud of illegality. Cannabis offers so much. With proper dosages, settings and methodologies, there are many drug addictions, dependencies, and misuse, that will hopefully become a thing of the past.