There are people who oppose medical marijuana because they fear it might be dangerous.
If facts could calm their fears, then these facts should do it. Let's check the major evidence!
THE INDIAN HEMP DRUG COMMISSION (from British India, 1894).
This massive effort showed "most clearly how little injury society has hitherto sustained from hemp drugs". There was "no evidence" of problems even in "large numbers of participants of long experience". They warned that banning hemp drugs created "the possibility of driving the consumers to have recourse to other stimulants or narcotics which may be more deleterious".
PANAMA CANAL ZONE REPORTS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY
Honest and objective U.S. Army reports (1925, 1931, 1933) about Marijuana use by U.S. troops failed to find any link between cannabis and problems with delinquency or morale. They could not find "any appreciable deleterious effect", concluding that "The influence of [marijuana] has apparently been greatly exaggerated". They hoped that "no witch hunt will be instituted in the military services over a problem that does not exist".
LaGUARDIA COMMISSION REPORT, NEW YORK CITY
This was the most extensive scientific experimentation ever done on humans with "marijuana", conducted by the New York Academy of Medicine (1938 -1944). They found that cannabis "did not give rise to anti-social behavior. On the contrary, it promoted sociability". They saw that "the drug creates a definite feeling of adequacy", with "no mental or physical deterioration". Mayor LaGuardia concluded, "the sociological, psychological, and medical ills commonly attributed to marijuana have been exaggerated".
THE WOOTTEN REPORT, U.K.
This report of the British Advisory Committee on Drug Dependence (1969) originally "intended to present both sides of the controversy", however, "By any ordinary standards of objectivity, it is clear that cannabis is not a very harmful drug".
THE LeDAIN COMMISSION REPORT, CANADA
The Canadians found that a "major factor" explaining cannabis use was "the simple pleasure of the experience"(1970). "LeDain" saw that "the damage caused by the [cannabis] law exceeds the harm which it is supposed to prevent" (a claim echoed by president Carter in 1977), and that "there is the accumulating social cost of a profound sense of injustice".
CONSUMERS UNION, "LICIT AND ILLICIT DRUGS"
Who do you check to find the truth about a product?
The major Consumers Union drug study was released in 1972, and warned that hard drugs are a very serious danger. They note, however, that "Marijuana is here to stay", that it poses no significant danger, and usually reduces alcohol use. They want it legalized and regulated like alcohol.
U.S. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON MARIJUANA AND DRUG ABUSE
Appointed mostly by president Nixon, this prestigious panel "backfired" spectacularly (1972). After investigation, this conservative U. S. government commission knew that "marijuana use is not such a grave problem that individuals who smoke marijuana, or possess it for that purpose, should be subject to criminal penalties." They recommended that "possession of marijuana for personal use" and "casual distribution of small quantities of Marijuana would no longer be an offense." They were ignored. Nixon promised he would ignore any positive finding.
THE FEDERAL JUDICIAL RULING ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA was issued by Federal Judge Francis Young in September of 1988. After two years of hearings he ruled "Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man". Judge Young was overruled by a federal bureaucrat intent on preserving his job and authority.
Question? Why do people still fear "Marijuana"?
Answer: Constant government lies and media complicity.
Question? What planted this fear so deeply?
Answer: The "big lies" of the Harry Anslinger/William Randolph Hearst team during the early 20th century. (They had to change the name to "marijuana" since "Tincture of Cannabis" - (from the same plant - was a common medicine long known and trusted by Americans)
WHAT DID OUR GOVERNMENT TELL AMERICANS TO MAKE US FEAR CANNABIS?
"If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana he would drop dead of fright". ( Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry Anslinger, Washington Herald 4/12/37)
People often die from such things as peanut butter, seafood, aspirin, prescription drugs etc.. If you drink 5 or 6 gallons of pure water you will perish. It is not possible to die from "marijuana". The lethal dose of cannabis is calculated to be about 40,000 times the effective dose - and there is no way to ingest that amount. All longitudinal studies of long term cannabis users have found no physical or mental harm. Almost nothing can compare with that level of safety.
When Prohibition ended, its federal enforcers needed new work. Industrial competitors wanted cannabis hemp eliminated. Racism was whipped up. Commissioner Anslinger and Mr. Hearst called pot "the worst evil of all". They explained that insanity and death were inevitable for all Marihuana users.
Their "gore files" contained endless stories such as the "New Jersey man" who killed his good friend and "smashed his head and face into a pulp"; the "Mexican" brutally beat his wife on the day she bore his child; the "oil worker, good character" who smoked one reefer and raped his 6 year old daughter; the "California man" who decapitated his best friend "for the sheer joy of murder itself"; "the sprawled body of a young girl [who] lay crushed on the sidewalk" after jumping from a tall building because of Marijuana; the young Florida man who ax murdered his whole family, etc.
Every single story was later found to be fabricated or had nothing to do with cannabis. NO WONDER there is a latent, irrational fear of cannabis in our culture! Now, in 2004, scary statistics are manipulated about hospital admissions for cannabis, treatment for pot "addiction" and new super powerful marijuana. Don't let them fool us again!
Citizens of Ann Arbor respect scientific fact and demand public policy based on reason, sound science, compassion, and harm reduction. Decisions about the use of an ancient, safe, effective, natural herbal medicine (in "the land of the free and the home of the brave) must rest solely with medical practitioners and their patients.
(Compiled by Chuck Ream)