Why the Government Focuses on the Harms of Cannabis

Why the Government Focuses on the Harms of Cannabis

The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors since sectors have been a thing (i.e., Industrial Revolution). Economic publications such as Forbes have projected the initiative to exceed $200 billion by 2030. It is worth noting that financial publications projected these figures before the market expansion of late 2020. Towards the tail end of last year, five states opt-in legalizing recreational and medical cannabis. Despite all of these advancements, we still do not know enough about cannabis. It is one of the most under-researched commodities ever. Cannabis is under-researched because the plant is a Schedule I drug, rendering federal research nearly impossible. But why? Why is the government fixated on exploring the ‘harms’ associated with cannabis? It is more profound than you think.

History of cannabis and misinformation

In the early 1900s, the state of cannabis would take a nosedive like none other. This portion of cannabis history is often known as ‘ Reefer Madness.’ This era is a time of slander and propaganda of cannabis, unlike any other time in history. Even a film produced during the Great Depression showcased the ‘horrors’ of using cannabis. The onslaught against cannabis was captained by a man named Harry Anslinger with the prominent timber baron William Randolph Hearst. The latter is best known for creating the largest newspaper publication of then and now: the New York Times. These men feared the versatility of cannabis in its industrial form: hemp. Hemp is many more times stronger and more durable than materials such as cotton, timber, and nylon. These astounding feats intrigued Anslinger, Hearst, and other timber barons. However, instead of harvesting the beneficial properties of cannabis and hemp for consumers, Anslinger, with Hearst’s help and finances, decided to run the most vigorous smear campaign ever orchestrated against a plant.

After 70 years, cannabis would remain as taboo as ever. Cannabis made its way to the list of illegal substances outlawed by the United States in 1972. Furthermore, cannabis made its way to the list of banned substances. For the sake of brevity, this means that the United States Government believed that cannabis was just as problematic and dangerous to one’s health as LSD, peyote, and even heroin. Anyone with a sliver of common sense would never compare cannabis to heroin. Thanks to the scheduling, cannabis is not researched on a federal level. However, this has not stopped some private agencies and universities from studying the effects of cannabis. The government has delivered all of the ‘harms’ associated with the use of cannabis. 

Conversely, all of the medicinal benefits we’ve learned about cannabis has come from private entities. The ‘benefits’ of smoking cigarettes were researched and published by the government. On the other hand, the harms of tobacco cigarettes were posted by private entities. You cannot make up this level of ignorance and irony. It used to pay to slander cannabis. That simply isn’t the case anymore.

Cannabis vs. other government-approved drugs

As the opiate crisis continues to run amok across the US, consumers frequently search for alternative medicines for pain relief. Furthermore, patients are becoming more conscious of using cannabis for pain relief to avoid opioids. This method also holds for patients who are attempting to avoid over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol and Advil. Cannabis has shown promising results in a variety of studies as being a good anti-inflammatory. Cannabis can provide consumers with relief from mild to even severe levels of pain. 

Cannabis use can also treat patients who suffer from depression and mild to severe occurrences of anxiety and panic attacks. This effect is likely due to the psychoactivity of the cannabinoid THC found in most strains of cannabis. THC interacts with the body’s Endocannabinoid System in such a manner that it assists in promoting hormonal secretions of antidepressant endorphins. Moreover, the cannabinoid THC has proven to boost mood and calm the symptoms often associated with panic attacks. Patients who suffer from Chronic Depression, anxiety, and other relative sicknesses turn to cannabis to avoid synthetic and addictive drugs such as Xanax.

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