A few of Uncle Sam’s main health officials, feel it is time to explore legalization in regards to national cannabis laws. They want to focus on creating policies based on science as opposed to the current political fiasco.
NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse); the federal health agency responsible for overseeing drug abuse and addiction, published an article yesterday expressing the important role science has to have in guiding the creation of policies regarding the nation’s cannabis laws.
The NIDA article implies we utilize the nation’s knowledge about alcohol and tobacco when considering advancements in marijuana policy. It also cites a 2015 report from the RAND Corporation revealing there will be more outcomes in cannabis’ end game than merely prohibition and legalization.
“Our country’s experience with other legal drugs provides useful lessons for states to consider,” the report says. “Alcohol is often seen as the most obvious comparison to marijuana, as it is a legal drug with wide range of health and safety risks but also a history of prohibition that is now viewed by most as having been a failure.”
Even though the federal government learned a lot with alcohol legalization; eventually tweaking the laws in the interest of public health and safety by raising the legal drinking age, NIDA confesses that the attempt at halting the American people from over-drinking was a failure.
As per NIDA, “alcohol remains widely misused in all age groups, is cheap and readily available in most locales and numerous adverse health and safety outcomes are attributable to it.”
Because of this; the agency feels that regulating cannabis like alcohol may not be a good idea, as more states keep legalizing. The article then states that; considering smoking in general has reduced use, maybe regulating marijuana in the same way as tobacco would be a better idea.
The report states, “we have seen continuous reductions in cigarette smoking and corresponding gains in public health for decades thanks to a number of efforts aimed at reducing demand for tobacco products, including significant increases in tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, hard-hitting media campaigns, and offering help for smokers to quit.”
NIDA feels that because a few studies have revealed pot causes an increase in auto accidents, causes brain development problems in kids and is addictive that it should be classified within the “appropriate regulation” in order to prevent the marijuana market from saying that pot is safe.
At the end of the day; the main point of the article was that federal health officials no longer feel that a complete prohibition is appropriate when dealing with marijuana.
“At this juncture, there in an opportunity to conduct research on the impacts of marijuana policies now existing in different states and countries, and examine the range of options that have not yet been tried,” the report reads. “Research needs to explore which policy structures—beyond simply prohibition or free market—are most likely to keep harms to a minimum. Where the public health is at stake, policy should be guided by science.”
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