As we see more legalization, and less stigmatization put upon using the cannabis plant as medicine, more medical and science professionals are making their voices heard to protest the absurd classification of cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. Thankfully, there are currently several bold researchers and scientists who are stepping up to speak out about what cannabis advocates have already known for decades – federal restrictions severely hinder advancements in cannabis research and prevent patients from obtaining the potentially life-changing drug.
“While we have compelling evidence that cannabis has a whole range of therapeutic benefits – users report it’s capable of easing symptoms of chemotherapy, chronic pain, and post traumatic stress disorder – many of these effects haven’t been tested in externally valid, randomized clinical trials,” researchers Vigil and Stith wrote in a letter published in Science.
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Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the U.S. federal government continues to treat cannabis as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This categorization of cannabis is more restrictive than that used for cocaine, methamphetamine and PCP. This classification was widely known to be overzealous back in its inception in 1970. Forty-six years later, this absurd classification remains in place, along with far too many non-violent users locked in a cage for simple possession.
“Millions of patients have been granted the authorization to use medical cannabis and cannabis-based products by their respective state health departments and four states have begun taxing and regulating cannabis sold for recreational purposes,” Vigil and Stith continued.
The researchers call for lawmakers to ease up on government control over cannabis research in order to allow scientists to ensure all cannabis products available to the public are as safe and effective as possible – and to what degree.
“As long as clinical research on cannabis is controlled by regulators expressly opposed to any increase in its consumption, health care cost reductions may be missed, and intoxication and long-term effects will remain unknown,” they write.
“Most important, many severely ill patients may suffer unnecessarily because no one knows the true risks and benefits of consuming Cannabis.”
After all of these years, the federal government’s stranglehold on medical cannabis is downright criminal. One nonviolent cannabis user in jail is too many. One child who is denied access to life-changing medicine is too many. It’s time to end this insanity once and for all. If more people like this speak out about it, we could very well see that happen within the next few years.