One of my very first columns ever written—back as a student at Memorial Senior High School in Houston, Texas—quoted Robert Louis Stevenson, who once famously said, “the cruelest lies are often told in silence.”
Sadly, the same rings true in regards to your average American’s views and education on cannabis.
Granted, there are plenty of LOUD noises and nonsense tossed at American citizens daily in terms of reefer madness; just look at your average television anti-drug advertisement for the latest lies on cannabis.
But the biggest—and as Stevenson would say, “the cruelest”—lies are often the ones told in silence.
In this particular matter, that “silence” would be the FACTS pertaining to marijuana and how the cannabis plant can save and cure a multitude of illnesses and ailments.
Toss aside the federal fiction for a moment and let’s review the evidence on this plant.
NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, who recently spoke at the organization’s 2011 annual conference in Denver, Colorado, said it best when talking about five key arguments opponents to medical cannabis often mention—and how we as activists can educate the naysayer on the reality of this plant.
Those five arguments? Cannabis is too dangerous; cannabis has too many unwanted side-effects; scientists haven’t effectively studied it; no medicine is smoked; and cannabis isn’t FDA-approved.
Let’s begin breaking down these anti-cannabis arguments—and debunking the so-called marijuana myths—one at a time, Armentano-style…
Argument No. 1: Cannabis is too dangerous.
“Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.”
—Judge Francis Young, Drug Enforcement Agency
This quote by the DEA’s Young is just one of many pertaining to cannabis.
Another quote Armentano used compared cannabis to being the same thing as “ingesting potatoes.”
And amazingly, those are just quotes from opponents of the plant.
Zero deaths have occurred from cannabis, and when looking at this plant’s medical LE 50 rate (or lethal dose), there isn’t one.
As Armentano said, “cannabanoids are NOT intoxicants;” let’s get our facts straight before deciding cannabis is “too dangerous” for society.
Argument No. 2: Cannabis has too many unwanted side-effects.
This argument honestly makes me laugh, as we all know that pharmaceuticals are MUCH worse than cannabis—with side-effects ranging from Erectile Dysfunction to stroke to liver damage highlighting pain pill medications such as ibuprofen and Tylenol.
You know what the number one side-effect is from cannabis?
Armentano also addressed how the enemy likes to mention that THC alters mood, and his response was right on the money when he questioned, “Xanex doesn’t alter mood?”
Argument No. 3: Scientists haven’t effectively studied cannabis.
There are over 20,000 published studies on cannabis, yet marijuana opponents continue to turn a blind eye to such scientific work.
And arguably, Armentano points out that cannabis should likely be a first-line of choice medicinally rather than a last-ditch and final effort.
The world has been successfully studying this plant for ages, and it’s time America embraces cannabis as the miracle medication that it is.
Argument No. 4: No medicine is smoked.
Armentano began this segment by simply saying, “many medicines are inhaled.”
And he’s exactly right.
Inhaling a medicine is the most effective way to get it into one’s system; plus, there is no risk of fatal overdose with cannabis.
In addition, experienced users know cannabis does not have to be smoked; there’s the healthiest way of inhaling the plant—using a vaporizer—and there’s also options such as edibles and tinctures.
Opponents to cannabis legalization need to become educated on the topic before throwing out nonsense such as “no medicine is smoked.”
Argument No. 5: Cannabis isn’t FDA-approved.
As Armentano pointed out in his presentation, the FDA tends to look primarily at drug trials pertaining to SINGLE symptoms.
And cannabis, God’s medicinal gift to men, treats a multitude of symptoms.
However, when it comes to the FDA’s gold-standard, Armentano claims “cannabis will readily, readily meet” it.
And Armentano, as usual, is exactly right.
Through thousands of years of studying this plant and countless medical trials abroad, cannabis clearly surpasses the standards set by the FDA.
Marijuana is a medicine, plain and simple!