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Opinion: Surgeon General Jerome Adams' Stance On Cannabis Is At Odds With His Responsibility To The Nation

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Opinion: Surgeon General Jerome Adams' Stance On Cannabis Is At Odds With His Responsibility To The Nation

There’s a general consensus among insiders that the federal prohibition on cannabis will be repealed within the next three to five years. I think it’ll be sooner.

Momentum is strong, voters want it, and the government needs the tax dollars. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where this is heading.

That being said, there are still plenty of prohibitionists in high places that continue to push decades-old anti-cannabis propaganda, oftentimes developing entire arguments based on lies, misinformation, and doublespeak.

To give you an example, consider this recent tweet from the Surgeon General of the United States...

As is often the case, when seeing these kinds of deceptive comments from the DC elite, I responded with my own thoughts and observations. But this time, the U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams actually took the time to respond.

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Take a look…

It’s not the type of blatant propaganda we were exposed to during the start of the war on cannabis, when films such as Reefer Madness and The Terrible Truth hit the theaters in an attempt to justify policies that were based on little more than racism and xenophobia, but it’s still propaganda, nonetheless. It’s just done in a way that washes over the thought processes of most readers.

To put this in better perspective, this is like comparing a hard sell to a soft sell. And this is exactly what Adams is doing.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Surgeon General has tried to soft sell the continued prohibition on cannabis.

Consider back in 2018, when Adams called on the government to rethink the schedule one classification that it attached to cannabis.; a classification set aside for substances or chemicals that have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other schedule one drugs include LSD, heroin, and ecstasy. But Adams was also quick to add that public health solutions must be led by science-driven policy.

As a scientist, I would expect nothing less. And this is a good thing. Certainly I don’t criticize Adams for taking this stance. In fact, I applaud Adams for noting that we should continue to seek ways to encourage and enable research to best inform policies regarding the potential medical properties of cannabis.

But here’s the problem ...

Such comments do little to help sick people now.

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We know that plenty of kids with epilepsy live seizure-free lives thanks to cannabis.

We know that there are folks suffering from arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, and anxiety, that are successfully treating their conditions with cannabis.

And we know that there are literally thousands of veterans that are having great success using cannabis to treat their symptoms of PTSD.

Supporting moves to make research is great. Moves should definitely be made so that we can research this medicine the same way we research other medicines. Many of which, by the way, haven’t been around and available to treat sick people for centuries, the way cannabis has.

But here’s the thing ...

The job of the U.S. Surgeon General is to protect, promote, and advance the health of our nation.

The current Surgeon General’s response to the benefits of cannabis, as well as his questionable comments about cannabis, does little to accomplish that job. All it does is perpetuate the propaganda that has made cannabis unavailable to so many sick people, for so many years. And this isn’t the first time Adams has pushed this argument about kids and cannabis.

Earlier this year, Adams put out the following tweet …

The acting U.S. Surgeon General is attempting to push a dishonest narrative.

As I noted in my response to Adams, no one is suggesting pregnant mothers or kids get high.
And he knows it.

The bottom line is that Adams doesn’t want the prohibition of cannabis to end.

Instead, he would prefer that sick Americans suffer while he asks Congress to reconsider its stance on cannabis research. Not only is this irresponsible, but it’s borderline incompetence.

If the Surgeon General, the person who is responsible for the protection, promotion, and advancement of the health of our nation, is more concerned about scaring folks into believing that legalization is somehow equated with babies getting high, instead of seeking to alleviate the pain of so many sick people, then it seems to me he isn’t fit for the job.

Yes, he should absolutely seek to support more scientific-based evidence of the medical benefits of cannabis, as well as any potential dangers, of which there are plenty, just as there are also potential dangers with any medications used improperly.

The question, however, is what is the purpose of making dishonest comments about cannabis other than to continue a nearly century-old propaganda campaign that has left far too many Americans sick, scared, and imprisoned?

It is not my intention to attack the U.S. Surgeon General with unnecessary venom and vitriol. I actually appreciate that he, or someone on his staff, took the time to reply to my comments. It is, however, my intention to expose an individual who is using his own, personal prejudices about cannabis to misinform the public and slow the progress of legalization, which can help so many people. And that is, for lack of a better word, unacceptable.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Lead image by Javier Hasse.

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