Something has been bugging me and I gotta get it off my chest. Many people are familiar with the statistics of “Deaths caused by…” various substances. According to the Center for Disease Control, tobacco is responsible for 450,000 deaths annually (plus 42,000 from second hand smoke). Alcohol annually causes 47,000 deaths, plus another 10,000 traffic deaths from drunk driving. Prescription drugs cause 29,000. In all these cases the harm is self-inflicted, caused by the substance itself, which is legally and readily obtainable.
Also to be considered are the broken homes, domestic violence and ruined careers from alcohol addiction, as well as the medical costs of tobacco caused diseases
By all accounts so far, zero (0) deaths are attributable to cannabis. Cannabis, rather, is a healing medicine and of itself, does not cause harm. Instead, the harm comes from the patient not being able to obtain the herb. Deaths related to marijuana causes are the result of people being shot at, because cannabis is an illegal controlled substance.
That is to say, the enforcement of prohibition engendered a premium price. This started a green gold rush in the wilds of northern California, which made cannabis the target of marijuana rustlers. The resultant shootouts with home invaders or with law enforcement were the cause of an unknown number of deaths.
Thus, ironically, the deaths in some way attributable to Cannabis are the result of its illegality and high price in the black market which was created by the prohibition in the first place. Whereas the high numbers of deaths from tobacco, alcohol and guns too, are because they are legal and easy to get.
So it is time to ask a different question. Instead of “How many have died from cannabis overdose?” (zero), the question should be, “How many have died or suffered because they could not get the healing herb?”
How many children have suffered and died from epilepsy, because cannabis is illegal?
How many have gone blind from glaucoma, because marijuana was prohibited?
How many have suffered from PTSD, because this best medicine was made illegal?
How many with concussions have not been able live a decent life without this medicine?
How many have died from cancers that cannabis can cure?
How many have been denied palliative relief from radiation and chemo therapy or AIDS?
It seems it is time to call out the DEA for all the suffering and deaths of tens of thousands of needful people, who were denied relief or a cure because of the lies started by Henry Anslinger over 70 years ago. Lies that are still being perpetrated today.
In cases, where an institution or company has been responsible for civilian deaths, the question always arises as to when did the company know the truth? How long did they deny and cover up the knowledge of their responsibility?
Cannabis has been used in Ayurvedic medicine from India and in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and 16th century european herbalist manuals list many curative uses. Probably the first report of cannabis’ medicinal value presented to a western government was written by William O’Shaughnessy for the British East India Company in 1842. This was followed by another report in 1893, again extolling the virtues of Indian Hemp. Fiorello La Guardia issued a report in 1944 and the Shafer Commission published another report praising numerous medical uses of the herb in 1972. As recently as 1998, the Chief Justice of the DEA declared that, “Marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” Yet every time a report was issued confirming the medical uses of cannabis, immediately thereafter repression was stepped up.
Jack Herer, a great hero to the Free Cannabis Movement, first published his classic THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES in 1985, with information on medicines that were issued U.S. government patents. He found that about 50% of such medicines contained cannabis, many with as much a 50% by volume. By1939, the U.S. Pharmacopeia listed over 100 ailments treatable with cannabis. Recently, the venerable American Medical Assoc. and even the NFL have tried to get re- recognition of cannabis’ medical value, but have had to retract their support due to Government pressure. Meanwhile, new evidence of cannabis’ healing power is presented every day.
So when did the government know about marijuana’s healing power? How long have they been denying and concealing this information??? How many have suffered or died as a result?
When will we finally hold the DEA, the FDA, and the NIH responsible for all the suffering and deaths they have cause by this immoral prohibition of humankind’s original medicine?