❝ On Thursday, the Drug Enforcement Agency formally refused to reconsider its classification of marijuana, which is officially regulated as a dangerous substance with no medical value, alongside drugs like heroin and LSD. Despite a growing body of scientific evidence and changes in public opinion, the federal government has refused to budge on a 46-year-old stance borne out of the War on Drugs.
❝ According to the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 61 percent of Americans support legalization. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws reports that eight out of ten Americans support medical marijuana legalization…
As public opinion moves in favor of legalizing pot, the DEA is clinging to the past — with little scientific evidence to back up their position.
Research has shown that pot has a multitude of medical benefits. And by reaffirming its position, the government has set back patients who relied on it for treatment for years.
❝ Thursday’s announcement means pot will remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having “no medical value and a high potential for abuse.” That means the federal government believes marijuana is just as harmful as heroin and less harmful than cocaine. It also bars scientists from receiving federal funding and forces them to jump through hoops to conduct their research. Insurance companies are banned from covering marijuana treatment, so patients have to rely on the black market for treatment.
❝ As of 2013, 78 percent of physicians in the world support the use of medical marijuana. In May, Ohio became the 25th U.S. state to legalize it. Even Congressional Republicans who have long opposed pot legalization recently vocalized support for more medical marijuana research.
And Republicans are more afraid of science than they are of democracy, non-white voters and women. More or less.
If Obama persists in saying he prefers science over ideology, how about opting for backbone over election year-opportunism.