Last week, the DEA decided not to reschedule the classification of marijuana as a legal drug. According to federal drug codes, cannabis is still as deadly and addictive as heroin, with no known medical value. I was surprised to see how many articles were written about this decision without mentioning the obvious: This was going to happen. The DEA was just toying with us.
There were petitions that received enough signatures and then some senators wrote the DEA a letter, so the DEA had to give the matter "serious consideration." But as long as the DEA is in charge of both writing the law and enforcing it, they're going to keep things status quo, no matter what American taxpayers actually want.
There are all kinds of contradictions and misrepresentations about marijuana. Everyone says we need more research to determine the true medical value of marijuana, but that won't happen within the U.S. for a number of reasons. In the first place, the DEA is in charge of approving scientific research studies! Now, the DEA isn't an independent organization or a scientific organization — they are a law-enforcement organization — yet they are given the responsibility to be both judge and jury when it comes to what research studies can be done within the United States?
There are plenty of scientific studies that have proven the medical value of marijuana, but they're being done in countries like Spain and Israel — and get this: our federal government actually funds those studies. A prime example is Dr. Raphael Mechoulam of Israel. The U.S. National Institute of Health (NIH) has provided Dr. Mechoulam with funding for cannabis research since the early 1960s, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for his research. So what does that tell you? Well, I've read his research and I can tell you this much: Although recreational marijuana is illegal in Israel, thanks to what Dr. Mechoulam has been able to prove, medical marijuana—not a pill, but the actual plant in smoked or edible form — is being prescribed in Israel for PTSD, epilepsy and rare seizure disorders, MS, Chrohn's, chronic pain, cancer, and even HIV.