Marijuana is marching into the mainstream. And more voters will have the opportunity to legalize it for medical or recreational use in their state soon. But with all the progress why does the Federal Government still want to continue to enforce marijuana prohibition nationwide? Recently they outlined their reasons.
Last month the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reminded the nation of their reasons to continue to enforce marijuana prohibition nationally in their response to the New York Times’ editorial demanding an end to marijuana prohibition. And the Fed’s argument is surprisingly weak says the Washington Post’s data journalist Christopher Ingraham. “It’s built on half-truths and radically decontextualized facts, curated from social science research that is otherwise quite solid,” he wrote in the Post’s WonkBlog. He also researched and brilliantly refuted each point of the ONDCP’s poor or misleading arguments.
Why the Feds Still Support Marijuana Prohibition —Reason #1:
The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy: Marijuana use affects the developing brain. A recent study in Brain reveals impairment of the development of structures in some regions of the brain following prolonged marijuana use that began in adolescence or young adulthood.
The same case can be made for both alcohol and tobacco, Ingraham points out. Here you can see the Feds make a great argument for restricting young peoples’ access to marijuana, which is exactly what Washington and Colorado have done with their recreational medical marijuana programs. But this sentiment sure makes a shitty argument for banning marijuana completely.
Apparently the research cited by the White House involved a group of 59 individuals who had been heavy marijuana smokers for 16 years, and who had smoked an average of 4.5 joints every single day over that period. This is far outside the realm of normal, moderate use, Ingraham notes. A recent Colorado Department of Revenue report found, according to Ingraham, that the majority of stoners in Colorado smoked five or fewer times per month.
So the government’s opening argument isn’t one against marijuana use, but one against overdoing it and keeping it out of the hands of children—something stoners and marijuana haters can both agree on, right?
Tomorrow we’ll dispute the gov’s second reason for continuing to enforce marijuana prohibition.
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