I believe it is a matter for the majority of people to see that the whole cannabis prohibition, the whole DEA “dogma” that “marijuana is a dangerous drug without accepted medical use” be exposed in its anti-scientific, deceptive nature. What makes dogma “dogma” is the categorical refusal of its defenders to recognize any logic, however obvious, that contradicts (or even does not explicitly confirm) the dogmatic “foundation”.
There are several such false premises that make it “justifiable” in the eyes of the DEA and its allies to keep the remarkable medicinal plant known as cannabis illegal”. Let’s try to refute some of these “reasons” for cannabis “illegality” as has been articulated by the DEA (which is the sole arbiter of a substance’s “legal” status”, a fact that is in itself an affront to democratic principles. To start with, cannabis is not physically addictive as it lacks the recognizable “physical withdrawal syndrome” (like opiates, or alcohol, for example); the so-called “gateway drug theory” has been proven to be nonsense by a scientific research, and was even declared “half-baked” by a recent study; drug Marinol, much touted by the DEA, is not at all the same as medicinal cannabis which, as opposed to Marinol, has over 70 active compounds interacting in therapeutic ways. Cannabis decriminalization is followed by a decrease (not an increase) in “teenage use”, as the example of Portugal clearly shows, and (with another major scare-tactic disintegrating), smoking cannabis does not increase one’s risk of lung cancer; combine all this with the violence-suppressing qualities of cannabis use, its propensity to be a “safe alternative” to alcohol/hard drugs, its remarkable medicinal properties, and then see if the DEA “dogmas” have any factual foundation and not just an empty talk that is being enforced by a version of philosophical “radical pragmatism” which basically “allows” its followers to disregard the truth in favor of, let’s say, DEA “dogma”, with such a dogma being constantly “reinforced” by a consciousness of “guilt” and “fear”.
Another big “unreality” that DEA just loves is its Utopian “vision” of a “drug-free society”. This would not be even hypothetically possible, as we, humans, have always used substances in one way or another since the dawn of history to help us “cope” and endure. The key here is moderation and proper education about “safe substance use”, and the problem in the future that I envision is not the increased use of cannabis, but the perseverance of the deadly “appeal” of alcohol on many, many people, not to mention dangerous, physically addictive prescription drugs (even if we forget about hard drugs for a moment). So, how would the DEA pursue its drug-free Utopia even if its anti-cannabis repression proved successful, is not entirely clear for me!
These non-entities, or “un-realities” can still be used as if they were “realities”. Shamefully and ignorantly, the patients of the State of Illinois were deprived of a legal access to their medicine on the grounds of the DEA intimidation having to do with “gateway drug” theory! Imagine, a social policy of this magnitude decided on the basis of an “entity” that does not even exist! This would be a good example of how powerful in its evil potential the philosophy of “radical pragmatism” can really be. Another example is the effort by a group of rogue politicos to overturn the will of the Montana voters and to repeal the medical marijuana law, duly enacted by the people of that state. But isn’t it really easy to see the “radical pragmatist” doctrines and quickly reject them? Not so fast!
This is where the consciousness of “guilt” and fear come in, when our “courageous” politicians pretend that they see “black”, where as in reality they often know that they are seeing “white”. For any of them to say that they see what they see would be “heresy”. This is how the radical pragmatist systems survived in history, occasionally for quite a long time. So, why does a “radical pragmatist” system eventually fall? For many reasons, such as economic and ethnic in the old Soviet Union, but almost always radical pragmatism falls on its face because the people are no longer willing to be “living a lie”. Currently, in this country there seem to appear the new “breed” of elected representatives who are refusing to “live a lie” when it comes to cannabis legalization, even if a position like this will “jeopardize” the support by the DEA and its prison-industrial complex clients. Even the fact that cannabis use suppresses violent behavior may not necessarily “appeal” to the prison-industrial complex, as less violence means less prisons, fewer prisoners, the whole “nine yards”.
There has been what I perceived as a slightly veiled criticism on Facebook of my persistent effort to bring philosophy into the cannabis legalization discussion. Let me answer this criticism as briefly as I can. First, the legalization supporters do not, in my view, have any choice in the matter. DEA and its allies rely on “radical pragmatism” to effect their policies, and that is a “philosophy”, a wrong, dangerous philosophy, but philosophy nonetheless. Another point is that, even though this may take some time”, no system, be it political or economic, can indefinitely survive based on a bunch of “un-realities”; sooner or later someone is going to “get up” and say, Wait just a minute! Where is the evidence for any of those scary things (about cannabis, for example) that you’ve forced us to take as “absolute truth” for decades? I really do believe that even such a “monolithic” system as Marxism finally fell in good measure because the Marxist philosophy was shown to be totally bankrupt, and that, believe it or not, may prove quite demoralizing for the regime supporters.
So then, what we (and I mean, all of us) need to do is spread this scientific knowledge (along with the refutation of “dogma”), so that even for the politicians this becomes a question of either siding with fear and ignorance (which will assure one kind or “legacy”), or with science, progress and compassion, which will bring a totally different “legacy” altogether; for if some of these crooks care about nothing else, they will care about their “legacies” and whether they stood and kept silent while the modern-day “storm troopers” dragged a cancer-afflicted granny to jail for using a natural remedy for her cancer symptoms! Let’s also not forget to ask our politicians as well why they are “crying broke” and yet, at the same time, keep financing the so-called “marijuana enforcement” while most of the country wants this rather harmless natural substance decriminalized altogether, and definitely legalized when it comes to its many remarkable medicinal uses.
I am a physician specializing in addiction medicine, and I also hold a "Doctor of Divinity" degree from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. Currently I am dedicated to making medical marijuana legal in all 50 States and making it available to our veterans just like it is available to Canadian veterans where the government even pays for it.