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Chaos Reigns Over Marijuana Policy—Kind of Like the Rest of the Trump Administration

Washington State Governor Announced Plan to Clear Marijuana Convictions
Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

With a president who celebrates a policy change that hasn’t actually happened yet, while keeping the Australian Prime Minister waiting, it’s no wonder policymakers are in total disarray about marijuana.

Even prior to the current bizarre government, it has not been easy with pot still being illegal on a federal level and with regulations in legal states changing at a dizzying pace.

The Hill recently pointed out something we’ve all known for years but is getting way worse under Trump: the current government is conflicted on marijuana and is “sending the public mixed messages.”

The government can’t seem to make up its mind whether or not marijuana should be legal.

On the one hand, “After years of skepticism and outright denials, one of the federal government’s lead drug researchers may be coming around on the rehabilitative power of marijuana,” according to attn.

As first reported by MassRoots’ Tom Angell, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) now states on its website that three recent studies, two of which it funded, suggest that “medical marijuana products may have a role in reducing the use of opioids needed to control pain.”

There are reports with significant evidence showing prescriptions for painkillers and other medications have dropped sharply in states with medical marijuana programs.

Also, states with legal marijuana have experienced 16 to 31 percent fewer fatal opioid overdoses compared to those that haven’t. Opioid-related hospital admissions have decreased 28 to 35 percent.

Yet, despite all this, the man recently appointed to lead the White House Opiate Task Force, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, has called legalizing marijuana “beyond stupidity…we are in the midst of a public health crisis on opiates and we have people saying yeah, but the pot’s OK.”

Such backward politicians as Attorney General Jeff Session, Chris Christie and others, willfully ignore the growing body of scientific evidence about marijuana, to all of our detriment.

They seem intent on turning back the clocks and taking the country back to the “reefer madness” era, replete with the dangerous re-launching of the drug war, but just against weed this time.

Thankfully, in the new budget bill, Congress refused to give Jeff Sessions any money to undertake that war against medical marijuana states.

So long as we have inconsistent laws that change when you step across a state line and so long as the DEA continues to uphold its clearly outdated Controlled Substance Act, it would behoove members of the ruling party—if there are any sane individuals among them—to straighten out the chaos and start paying attention to scientific research.

Not doing so will negatively affect a lot of people’s health and wellbeing.

And considering that Trump and his supporters are trying to strip millions of their healthcare, we cannot afford more chaos and indecision on this important issue.

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