As New York considers legalizing marijuana, attention is also turning to how the drug plays a role in the city’s child welfare system—one that has the power to remove children from their parents and that investigates, almost exclusively, low-income families of color. Parents and advocates have reported that recreational marijuana use can lead to investigations of child maltreatment by the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. Many times these investigations stem from testing pregnant women and their newborns at the city’s public hospitals, according to testimony at a City Council hearing on Wednesday. Queens Councilwoman Adrienne Adams called the practice “the systemic criminalization of women of color,” which comes with the threat of separating children and parents. “We are absolutely tearing families apart, needlessly,” Adams said.
There is a new shift being observed with the federal government looking to increase cannabis cultivation for research purposes accompanied by an intention to curb opioid production, according to an article from Marijuana Moment published recently by Forbes magazine. During the latter part of the Obama administration, there was some movement toward expanding sanctioned cannabis cultivation for research, which the DEA under Jeff Sessions Justice Department resisted until recently. Along with this potential increase of cannabis resources for research, the DEA has announced an intention to restrict opioid production and monitor opioid distribution more closely than it has been. Opioids include oxycontin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine. All of these opioids are addictive, dangerous, and potentially lethal. Ironically, marijuana has recently been used to effectively help opioid prescription drug addicts painlessly walk away from them permanently within weeks.
Two bills have been introduced to protect consumer access to cannabidiol (CBD). We have a growing opioid painkiller epidemic in this country—one that has followed the scandal of so many heart-health-destroying or cancer-causing pain relievers being approved by the FDA. There is a natural alternative, and of course the government is intent on banning it for no reason at all—other than to clear the way for a blockbuster new drug. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) has introduced two bills, the Legitimate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (HR 714) and the Compassionate Access Act (HR 715), both aimed at removing federal obstacles that prevent patient access to CBD, a medicinal extract of the marijuana plant. These bills follow a recent move by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) that classified marijuana and all its extracts as Schedule I controlled substances—a category that includes heroin, LSD, mescaline, and MDMA. Note that none of the CBD extracts contains significant amounts of the psychoactive chemical in marijuana—only the non-psychoactive painkilling chemicals. Although “CBD” or “cannibinoids” are not mentioned in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—the legislation that the DEA must follow in creating rules related to controlled substances—the agency nonetheless lumps CBD and all other constituents of the plant into the definition of “marijuana.”
As with numerous holistic or so-called complementary and alternative medicine modalities, there is nothing new about healing with cannabis! Cannabis is an herb that has had a place in traditional — meaning ancient — medicine for thousands of years, dating back as far as 2637 B.C. in China. How is it possible that cannabis, which has documented efficacy in a host of medical conditions, is illegal according to the federal government and classified as a schedule 1 substance “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” and at the same time the government holds a patent on cannabis?
In January 2016, Hillary Clinton unveiled an autism initiative that was focused on bringing greater awareness to the epidemic. Clinton, who has received more pharmaceutical industry money than any leading political figure in the United States, wants “to ensure that all children, and in particular children from underserved backgrounds, can get screened for autism.” Reading between the political red tape and double speak, Clinton and the pharmaceutical industry are looking to create a funnel to drive millions affected by the autism spectrum into the drug company’s arms. There is a lot of buzz these days coming from the political and medical hot potato that is medical cannabis (marijuana). Many states are wrestling with current legislation, desperate not to give full control of this plant’s healing powers over to the people without high taxes and tracking systems. Two major events have just occurred within the last week. First, Pennsylvania is moving to become the first state to list autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. If Pennsylvania’s SB3 becomes law, it will legally protect doctors who want to prescribe medical marijuana. In addition, the law would give parents and their children access to a powerful medical tool that would be covered by insurance. The second major event that is currently in the works is the world’s first official crowdfunded medical marijuana study at Colorado State University. Headed by Thorsten Rudroff, director of Colorado State University’s (CSU) Integrative Neurophysiology Lab, the study aims to conduct tests on at least 20 MS patients in northern Colorado who already are using medical marijuana and compare them with members of a control group of the same size who do not.
Every year, painkillers such as Percocet, Vicodin and other opioids kill thousands. Opioid prescriptions have jumped 300 percent in the last decade. They are the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market. They are the most dangerous and addictive drugs which often lose effectiveness with long-term use. So when a plant comes along that can effectively curb dependency on these popular selling medications, pharmaceutical companies get very get angry. Marijuana does just that.
The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said its report suggested the war on drugs had failed. The report, published in the British Medical Journal Open, looked at data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems. Its researchers said it was time to consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. The report also found there had been a substantial increase in most parts of the world in the amount of cocaine, heroin and cannabis seized by law enforcement agencies since 1990. Most national drug control strategies have focused on law enforcement to curb supply despite calls to explore other approaches, such as decriminalisation and strict legal regulation, it said. It concluded: "These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing." Co-author Dr Evan Wood, scientific chairman of the centre, said: "We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue. "With the recognition that efforts to reduce drug supply are unlikely to be successful, there is a clear need to scale up addiction treatment and other strategies that can effectively reduce drug-related harm."
A Colorado mother is being forced to put her son, who is suffering from leukemia, back into toxic chemotherapy and radiation treatment that almost killed him, even though his cancer is in remission. When her son almost died from the first round of chemotherapy, she took him to Colorado so she could give him medical marijuana which is natural and has none of the side effects of chemotherapy. In spite of the fact that there is solid scientific research on cannabis healing cancer, it remains not only a drug not approved by the FDA, but a criminal illegal drug federally. Colorado recently passed laws allowing it to be distributed in that state. But under threat of the CPS taking her child away, she was forced to obey a medical doctor to allow chemotherapy to resume again.
Some are in a near panic over the idea of marijuana coming into the market with no federal oversight, publishing stories that seem designed to scare the public over the "dangers" of unregulated marijuana. Let's compare marijuana, which is by far the most consumed illegal drug in America, used by an estimated 9% of the population (approximately 23 million people), with drugs and food that are legal and regulated by the federal government.