The war on drugs, which was launched with the noble aim of curbing drug use and defunding criminal enterprises behind the illicit drug trade, is an unmitigated failure. Tens of millions of people have been arrested and incarcerated over the past four decades, breaking up families, ruining lives and leaving the United States with the largest prison population in the world. Minorities, specifically communities of color, bore the brunt of the drug war, and they are still victim to intense policing and harsh sentencing due to drug policies.
Drug reform activists have long been advocating for the end of cannabis-related incarcerations, especially as more states have legalized either medical or recreational cannabis, and the U.S. Surgeon General is of the same opinion. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, while talking about a federal marijuana legalization bill circulated by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, said that it is time America stops imprisoning people for cannabis use. While he didn’t endorse broad commercial legalization, he emphasized that there is no value behind incarcerating individuals for cannabis possession, stating that he thinks it doesn’t “serve anybody well.”
Taking a more neutral stance on cannabis, he pointed out that it has pros and cons, although the hype seems to have outpaced the science. The country will have to let the science guide its efforts towards decriminalizing and legalizing marijuana, he says. While the controversial drug has medicinal properties, it also has potential harms that have to be considered, and putting these two perspectives together will help inform policymakers.
Back in 2015, Murthy, who also served as Surgeon General under former President Barack Obama, pointed out that preliminary evidence showed that cannabis can be helpful against certain medical conditions and symptoms.
However, he later stated in 2018 that the wave of cannabis legalization reform sweeping across America concerned him, especially given how little remains unknown know about marijuana’s effects. The industry has grown a great deal in just a few years, and sellers have taken to making false claims about what their products can do to boost sales. In fact, the FDA has had to send warning letters to several companies to curb this false advertising.
With more states legalizing cannabis, researchers have been able to look into cannabis’ capabilities and its side effects better than ever before. President Joseph Biden, who ran his campaign on cannabis decriminalization among other issues, supports incremental decriminalization and expunging prior cannabis-related infractions from records. However, he still hasn’t acted on these promises since he took office, choosing instead to work on a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill.
The views expressed by the U.S. Surgeon General regarding the futility of sending people to jail because they consume cannabis was realized years back by other countries, including Canada, where a legal marijuana market that gave companies such as Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) (FSE: 4XM) space to thrive was created.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pac Roots Cannabis Corp. (CSE: PACR) (OTCQB: PACRF) (FSE: 4XM) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://cnw.fm/PACR
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