cannabis

As the era of “alternative facts” takes hold across the political spectrum and federal government buries its head in ignorance, lawmakers are increasingly challenging facets of the insanity. Medical cannabis is receiving particular attention, with supporters becoming even more passionate after the appointment of drug warrior Jeff Sessions to Attorney General.

According to Marijuana Moment, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) testified in a House Judiciary Committee that medical cannabis has great potential to treat mental health issues and should be made available to everyone – including cops. Many lawmakers are trying to change VA policies to allow medical cannabis for veterans with PTSD, but Gaetz is taking this logic a step further with law enforcement.

“Our policies should follow the science and not this ridiculous, antiquated dogma perpetuated by lies through the federal government,” said Gaetz.

The legislation being considered, titled “Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act of 2017,” would delve into the mental health practices and services of LEO agencies across the country, and direct the attorney general to consult with the DoD and VA on how they treat soldiers.

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Gaetz proposed an amendment which would have required agencies to examine, “Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs mental health practices and services, including medical cannabis treatment on mental health, that could be adopted by Federal, State, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies.“

As we know, drugs such as SSRIs–with harmful effects on health and public safety–are the method of choice for treating military veterans who suffer trauma after fighting in America’s wars of aggression. If patients can use a plant and its extracts for healing, which can’t be patented, this is a serious threat to the profits of Big Pharma.

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After blowback from several lawmakers who felt law enforcement wasn’t the place to pursue cannabis reform, Gaetz withdrew his amendment. But the point was made – there is mounting resistance to the inhumane, logically bankrupt War on Drugs.

The federal government has lied to the American people for a generation about cannabis,” said Gaetz as his amendment was discussed for about 30 minutes. “There is substantial evidence that indicates that there is a case to be made for the medical efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of mental health and particularly PTSD.

The Florida Congressman noted for the record, the “idiotic, indefensible policy in this country where we list cannabis as a Schedule I drug.

The thought of cops using medical cannabis is interesting, considering the violent U.S. police state and its assault on the populace through the war on drugs. Perhaps those cops who actually believe a person should be arrested for a plant would have second thoughts if they actually experienced the benefits of said plant. More importantly, could the extraordinary rate of police-initiated violence go down if cops could toke up after work?

Even though fellow lawmakers assured Gaetz they supported his efforts at cannabis reform, they must have been shocked by the truth bombs he dropped during the hearing. There is no contesting the statements Gaetz made about the lies and the disregard of scientific fact that dominate U.S. drug policy.

These moments of clarity in Congress are refreshing indeed. A day before Gaetz made his statements, Rep. Earl Blumenauer testified before a House Subcommittee on Health that medical cannabis can solve the opioid crisis. He provided strong scientific evidence to make his point and lambasted the “stranglehold” federal government has on cannabis research.

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Justin Gardner is a peaceful free-thinker with a background in the biological sciences. He is interested in bringing rationality back into the national discourse, and independent journalism as a challenge to the status quo.