There hasn't been much news on the infamous War On Marijuana that has really piqued my interest lately, unless you count the inaction of the United States government to listen to it's constituents. Sadly, that too is an all too common occurrence and yes, gun control, I'm looking at you.
That is, until recently, when two tidbits of information caught my eye that will make it more difficult for the government to continue arresting people for crimes only the government sees as crimes.
First, a recent study shows that cannabis significantly reduces risks of bladder cancer, particularly when compared to tobacco (which, as you know, is legal). Smoking cannabis was linked to a 45 percent decrease in risk for bladder cancer, whereas cigarette smokers increase their risk by 52 percent. It also showed the more cannabis used, the less the risk. The 11-year study was conducted by Kaiser Permanente.
That's an important distinction, and it brings me to my second point: The government is actually blocking itself from studying the effects of marijuana. Here's a summary from ThinkProgress.
During an address before a medical marijuana conference Friday, John H. Schwarz explained how the DEA and NIDA act as a “tag team” to censor science, with NIDA holding a monopoly over legal access to cannabis for research, and the DEA refusing to reconsider the drug’s designation in the Controlled Substances Act as a dangerous substance with no medical value on the basis that sufficient research does not exist. He alleges that the government has blocked research even though it has long been aware of marijuana’s potential to serve many medical benefits including shrink aggressive cancer cells is because it might “send the wrong message to children.”
Yes, the children, the same people we can't talk to about premarital sex, alcohol or anything else that are facts of life. It's far safer when kids understand their limits because they have been taught by someone they trust, rather than thrust in a situation they don't understand while being encouraged by one of the cool kids in high school.
Anyway, push may come to shove in the very near future on the marijuana front. Washington D.C. will soon open their first medical marijuana dispensaries. D.C. follows district law, which permits the dispensaries, and federal law, which doesn't allow for these to exist.
This should be fun.