The issue of legalization of marijuana for recreational use is now on the ballot in Washington, Oregon and Colorado. This suggests more widespread acceptance of marijuana as a relatively (vs. alcohol) benign intoxicant. Voter approval, which I favor, should lead to open and honest discussion of the disinformation that has sustained the failed drug war for 70 years.
Marijuana is now misclassified as a Schedule I drug (along with heroin and LSD) despite not meeting Schedule I criteria (no medicinal usefulness; unsafe even under medical supervision; highly addictive). Its safety (no known overdose deaths) contrasts with that of prescribable opiates. A federal law suit now aims to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana in Schedule II along with demerol and oxycodone (medicinally useful; safe; less addictive). In 1988, the DEA’s own administrative law judge, Francis Young, recommended placement in Schedule II but was overruled.
Since then, 17 states and D.C. have changed their state laws to allow qualified patients to use marijuana medicinally despite the federal ban.
Hopefully this suit will force the feds to abandon their obstruction and disinformation, and acknowledge the safety and effectiveness of this valuable medicine. It could then be prescribed in the same manner as much more dangerous and addictive medicines like demerol and oxycodone.