Obviously I would prefer that marijuana was removed from the schedules entirely (just like alcohol and tobacco), but accept that there are positive values that can come from any change in the scheduling. Tom does a good job of laying out some of the benefits.
Caucus member Jeff Sessions (R.-Al.) spoke of the need to foster “knowledge that this drug is dangerous, you cannot play with it, it is not funny, it’s not something to laugh about… and to send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
My name is Sturla and I’m a drug addict. Because I am an addict, I do not represent most people who use drugs. The vast majority of people who use drugs don’t know what the inside of a rehabilitation center looks like: Most people who use drugs choose to enjoy mind-altering substances besides alcohol without ever needing treatment. They’re doctors, lawyers, politicians, dentists and truck drivers. Far from everyone who uses drugs does so in a compulsory manner, just as far from everyone who enjoys alcohol are alcoholics. I, on the other hand, am seen by some as a sick person because I use drugs more regularly and suffer bigger consequences than most people as a result of my use. By others I am seen as a criminal.[…]
We need to stop demanding that people are drug free before being admitted into society as fully worthy members, and accept that some will always feel the urge to alter their consciousness with substances.
As the world grapples with the fallout from the War on Drugs—and heads towards UNGASS 2016, a possible opportunity to put things right—it’s important to know the history of these drugs and their journey from medicine to menace. We didn’t suddenly discover that they were far more addictive or dangerous than other medicines. In fact, the reasons that drugs like heroin, cocaine, marijuana and others are illegal today have far more to do with economics and cultural prejudice than with addiction.
Russia’s commitment to a hardline approach at home, and its influence as a global superpower, meant it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise to see the Russian delegation flying the flag for the war on drugs at the UN’s annual drug policy jamboree, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), which took place a couple of weeks ago. But what was surprising was the lengths they were willing to go to to stymie any attempt, however incremental, to reorient the debate toward anything that could be considered even vaguely progressive.