Editorials

Christians, Conservatives and Cannabis

Myth #1: Marijuana is dangerous.

Cannabis-Powder-B
Marijuana (cannabis) was a common medicine in the US prior to Prohibition

Marijuana has been safely used by millions of people across the world, both recreationally and medicinally for at least 5000 years. There is not a single recorded instance of anyone ever dying from an overdose. Multiple studies indicate that it is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco.

Some scientists have estimated that to overdose on cannabis, one would have to ingest about 1,500 lbs. of it in 15 minutes. Should one be foolish enough to try to commit suicide by overdosing on cannabis, they would simply find themselves very uncomfortable and be rendered unconscious for a few hours or possibly days. Afterwards, they would suffer no long-term effects. Virtually any over-the-counter medication can cause much more serious harm (or even death) than cannabis, if used in large enough doses.

There is a humorous video going around that illustrates this point. A few years ago, a police officer confiscated some marijuana from a violator and brought it home, where he and his wife decided to make themselves some brownies. Being inexperienced, they ate too many of them at once and when the full effects kicked in, they thought they were dying and called 911 to confess their crime and ask for rescue. The husband said they “thought they were dead” and “time is moving really, really, really slow.”

We can laugh at the recording because most people know that this couple was not actually dying, and would be perfectly fine a few hours later because one simply cannot die from eating too many marijuana brownies. Like these folks, they will just feel terrible and will likely resolve to never do that again.

youngdeafindingsIn 1972, a petition was filed with the DEA by NORML seeking to reschedule cannabis under federal law. The DEA initially rejected the petition, but later was forced to accept it (twice) by federal courts. Fully 14 years later, the DEA finally held public hearings on the issue before Administrative Judge Francis L. Young, who examined all the evidence presented and rendered his decision two years later (1988). Judge Young’s findings were quite telling:

“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.”

– Docket No. 86-22 – Marijuana Rescheduling Hearing Sept. 1988

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Image Credit: jobsanger.blogspot.com

Sadly, then-DEA Administrator John Lawn ultimately rejected Young’s determination and arbitrarily preserved marijuana’s Schedule 1 status, where it remains to this day – despite a complete lack of evidence to support the claim that it is dangerous, and contrary to the ample evidence that it is indeed a safe and beneficial medicine just as Judge Young concluded.

Truth: There is NO scientific proof that marijuana is a dangerous drug. In fact, marijuana is safer than any drug you can buy off the counter, and even safer than much of what you would normally put into your body, because you cannot suffer any permanent harm from taking too much. Researchers have been unable to give any animal test subjects a fatal dose, thus a fatal dosage remains unknown to science. Contrast this with any prescription or non-prescription drug, which always have warnings on the label concerning overdose dangers.

 

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