point and counterpoint on medicinal cannabis
It is argued that the federal government, its agencies, and our elected officials are extremely concerned over public health. Thus, they will move extremely cautiously with any matter that may expose the public to 'danger'. With all due respect I consider this a fallacy when you consider:
A "consensus statement" (1995, Erice statement) released by of 18 scientific experts in August 1995 on chemical threats to immune systems concluded. "The potential exists for widespread immuno toxicity in human life and wildlife species because of the worldwide lack of appropriate protective standards... The risk of exposure to known immunomodulators is sufficient to warrant regulatory approaches that would limit exposure."(13).
Have we done our part in limiting exposure of world citizens to these risks? No! According to a report by Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education 22.3 million pounds of severely restricted (in the United States)pesticides were exported in 1992 to 1994 to foreign governments. This includes 600,000 pounds of DDT."(14).
DDT is seen as a an extremely dangerous pesticides, that can cause the fore mentioned negative other health effects plus myriad of other negative health effects in part per million or Parts per billion.
Despite these facts these toxins reenter our food supply, and can accumulate over prolonged exposure. We should also have a grave concern over the health impacts of these chemicals on the citizens of other countries that import these chemicals.
What causes such grand hypocrisy? Can we justify it by claiming that some people must have these pesticides, even if they are a dangers to the health of these people, because without it these toxins their crops would be decimated by insects? The same sort claim can be made for the medicinal use of cannabis for the ill and infirm. Perhaps such medication is their only effective means of survival.
Part of the answer can be found in the money trail that ends in Washington DC. It is often claimed that billionaires subvert the democratic process in regard to drug policy and especially medical marijuana. However, lobbyist activities reported in Center for Responsive Politics Report (Influence Inc) 1997 fails to show any evidence of "drug law reformers" in the list of top 100 lobbyist. Nor does it show any group that has consistently shown sympathies for the drugs reform movement. What it does show is a who's who of industry of big business and labor unions. Neither of these two groups have consistently supported reform of this nations drug laws. In fact many of these groups have a strong motivation to oppose any sane and rational policy toward industrial threats to the public health.
I still wonder when this country will be a leader in the area of public health. Instead we have a failed policy of enforcement driven drug policy. Lest we forget, in 1989 the Bush administration vowed a goal of reducing cocaine availability by 15% by the fall of 1991. Actually, cocaine production increased in south America by 28% in 1990, and another 8% in 1991(15).