The FDA is accepting comments on the schedule one status of cannabis. I have decided to share my letter with you folks at ATS, and hope you will take
action as well.
The letter is as follows:
This message is not automated. I spent time writing this for you to read. Please read this all the way through.
I am, and many American citizens are tired of Cannabis users being crusaded against for laws that were created due to the lack of taxation control and
racism towards black jazz musicians and Mexican migrants.
Louie Armstrong is just one of the jazz musicians I am referencing. In his era of music, many people were racist. Because he was famous, and had a
relationship with cannabis while being a black american many people associated cannabis with black american culture and tried to drive it out.
The word Marijuana itself has origins in Mexico, though it is unclear the exact time frame in which it came to use.
Again, people in the early 20th century were very openly racist against Migrant Mexicans and their culture.
Here is an excerpt from an article discussing this topic. (I did not write the article)
"The word “marijuana” comes from Mexico, but its exact origins remain unknown. According to the book Cannabis: A History by Martin Booth, it may
derive from an Aztec language or soldiers’ slang for “brothel” – Maria y Juana.
The practice of smoking it arrived in the US from the south during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mexican laborers and soldiers carried it
into the American south-west. Sailors brought it from Brazil and the Caribbean when they docked in New Orleans, where black jazz musicians adopted
There is nothing wrong with cannabis use. People have used it for thousands of years in homeopathic medical practice, as well as to relieve stress. It
is much safer than cigarettes and alcohol.
It is ridiculous that cannabis use is illegal, that people with debilitating illnesses, and high stress cannot use it AT HOME and keep their day jobs.
The very definition of schedule one drugs contradicts itself in the case of cannabis by stating it has no medicinal value.
According to a multitude of polls, over 50% of Americans support its legalization, as well as some senators.
In addition to this we could be using the money from the $1 Billion black market industry to fund education. It would also create jobs for citizens
that are unemployed. It would also prevent billions of dollars a year being wasted on criminalizing users.
Every prisoner who was placed in prison for cannabis could have their lives back, they could see their families again. This would also help with the
recent disdain for our current lawmakers.
It is far past time for the legalization or decriminalization of cannabis. The world is changing, Nixon era cannabis policies are no longer relevant
to our societies view. They are also not based on factual, scientific research. (Unless you count suffocating monkeys as scientific research.
In addition to this there are many people who could benefit from it such as people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease or
epilepsy. This could change lives for the better.
A summary and further data:
Legalizing Cannabis would decrease the law enforcement spending significantly. I have included some data on this.
The amount states will spend enforcing marijuana laws over the next six years is $20 Billion USD.
The average per-diem cost of housing an inmate arrested due to a marijuana-related offense is $950 USD. The yearly sum of this is $346,750 USD per
(Source link, an actual PDF of the ACLU report.
On the illegal market and associated violence:
The black market cannabis industry generates billions of non-tax deductible dollars per year. This money goes to individuals and gangs.
This might make you associate cannabis with gang activity, but please read and think about the following statement.
The Black market industry heads WANT CANNABIS ILLEGAL. The illegality is why it is profitable for them. If we were to legalize or decriminalize
cannabis this would take the power and money away from them. Many of these people are violent, but they are not violent because they use cannabis.
They are violent because they are trying to protect their illegal income. The illegal income promotes their luxurious lifestyle, and they would do
anything to protect it.
So, Legalizing cannabis would take power and money away from the actual violent people.
Cannabis use in itself does not cause violence, it is the drive for money and power in the black market industry that creates the violence.
Cannabis and death:
Cannabis use, in itself, has never been recorded to cause a single death in all of recorded history. Like anything else it has a toxicity and overdose
limit. But it such a low toxicity you would never be able to reach it. You would fall asleep WAY before you could ever overdose on it.
In fact, more people die from overdosing on water than cannabis. More people also die from eating peanuts, and swallowing stuff from under the
Would you make water illegal because of people overdosing on it?
On the argument that it would make it more available to children:
Currently, there is no regulation on the cannabis market on a federal level. So there is no control on who can acquire cannabis.
Illegal market cannabis dealers do not care who they sell it to. All they want is money, no matter how they get it.
In legal states there is regulation on who can and cannot purchase cannabis.
The legal cannabis dealers, not wanting to lose their business and income, refuse to sell to anyone who is under 21. In these states you must present
identification proving you are of the legal age.
"What if someone was to buy it for them?"
Perhaps this could happen, but the executor of purchasing a legal substance treated like alcohol would be committing a criminal offense.
Currently children can simply purchase it themselves, so this would add another preventative measure to them acquiring it.
On the argument that this would increase the amount of DID (Driving under the influence of drugs):
Many people already illegally drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, despite the illegality of it. We could use part of the multi billions of
dollars of tax money, gained from cannabis legalization, to educate people on why these actions are dangerous.
Cannabis has less inhibiting effects than alcohol, and drunk drivers happen all the time anyway.
On the argument that Cannabis legalization would increase crime rates:
This argument is particularly misguided and an unintelligent assumption spouted by uninformed people.
The illegality of cannabis makes it a crime. Removing cannabis from the schedule one substance list would make it no longer a crime. People would not
be jailed for it, thus reducing crime rates.
As I discussed earlier, this would also free up tax money for better things. Additionally, cannabis users do not become violent because of cannabis.
You are either a violent person or you are not. If violence is in your nature, you will be violent regardless.
Cannabis consumption is more likely to make you eat more food, watch tv, and stay home, rather than harm others.
On the opioid crisis:
Cannabis can be used as an alternative to opiods in pain treatment.
This is a big issue currently.
Though I am not going to delve into the statistics on this one, I have