“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg told reporters, according to CBS News. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”
This pisses me off. I have smoked less pot than Jeb Bush (claims to) and this pisses me off. Law enforcement should 100%, not. Ever. In a million election cycles. Over the course of the entirety of human history. Across multiple dimensions and spanning the infinite variations of time and space: Weigh in on scientific issues. Not with any legal force.
This is how it’s supposed to work: You let scientists figure this shit out, then you can apply it to policy. If scientists change their consensus based on emerging evidence, then you have to adjust.
In reality, the DEA by law, gets to decide if a substance merits its scheduling. Not a panel of scientists, not the CDC or NIH, the motherfucking DEA.
For those who don’t understand the pipeline of drug research, natural products are HUGE. A significant proportion of our medicines come from either using a substance normally synthesized by nature or from adapting an existing natural structure. So in theory, human biologists, doctors, and medicinal chemists will all get together and see something like THC, then try to adjust it so that they can get the desired effects and eliminate the others. So that people who take it medicinally can operate heavy machinery, for instance.
The way that it works with Schedule I drugs, however, is different. The DEA gets to decide if scientists are allowed to work with it. You are literally, by law, prohibited from carrying out research on the marijuana plant to first understand the physiological mechanisms that make it work, unless you succeed at the [lengthy review process] that ultimately stifles research efforts.
In the meantime we’re locking people up for something that is demonstrably more benign than alcohol abuse. I bet Rosenberg even sleeps well at night. Bastard.