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FDA: Deschedule Cannabis Now

Photo by @TheHempGuy

This Comment was submitted April 23, 2018

For more information:

Agency: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Title: International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Cannabis Plant and Resin; Extracts and Tinctures of Cannabis; Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol; Stereoisomers of Tetrahydrocannabinol; Cannabidiol;

Document ID: FDA-2018-N-1072-0001


Cannabis, any part of the plant, including all derivatives, extracts, and cannabinoids, should be descheduled and left to the States for regulation. Substances including caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, are proven to be addictive, dangerous at high doses, and are abused by millions of Americans. These substances can have significant side effects and cost the US economy billions of dollars annually. Comparatively speaking, cannabis is a significantly safer substance. Like these substances, cannabis can be used regularly without being considered 'abuse'.

CBD, or Cannabidiol, and other non-psychoactive cannabis extracts, whole plant or derivatives, should remain available to all Americans. This can and should be regulated on the State level, and should generally be available as a health supplement, along with Green Tea Extract, Tumeric Extract, Ginseng, and other plant based extracts. There is no way to get "high" from CBD, and there is no potential for addiction or abuse whatsoever. There have been numerous studies to show the health benefits of CBD. No studies, to my understanding, have shown any potential for abuse. I have seen no studies that show any adverse effects from any type of use.

The fact that Cannabis remains a Schedule I drug, shows an utter failure on our part to make regulations based to benefit society. The expenditures to enforce cannabis laws show that we have no understanding of how to best allocate finite resources like Tax Dollars. That Cannabis is considered more dangerous than OxyContin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, and Cocaine is an egregious mistake that must be remedied immediately. Cannabis is addictive in a similar way that alcohol is addictive. It can be widely used, without leading to abuse. In some cases it can be abused, but these users are a small minority in the whole. Alcohol, which is not only legal, but advertised and sold widely, and used by most Americans, ruins millions of lives through overdose alone, which causes a dangerous intoxication and leads to violence and automobile accidents (not to mention the terrible effects on the liver and hangovers, blackouts, etc.) C

annabis use cannot result in a similar type of dangerous overdose, and under a legal regulated market is not known to cause violence. Like tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fat, and other substances, cannabis can be abused. But unlike these substances, abuse does not lead to significant health problems. Abuse of Sugar and Fat alone, for example, cause massive rates of obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Cannabis should be regulated in a similar manner to these substances. While it is safer than alcohol or tobacco, it could be regulated as such to prevent abuse.Thank you very much for your careful consideration. The whole world is watching. The United States has the responsibility to lead effectively, to save valuable resources (including healthcare) and benefit the most people for the least amount of money. The laws we make are enforced in other parts of the world as well, where even fewer people can afford good healthcare. The potential benefits of cannabis as a therapeutic medicine have been widely documented in academic and clinical trials, as well as thousands of years of use throughout human history. In the 21st Century, it is time we make the most with what we have. Our laws must reflect science and public opinion. We can no longer afford to show blatant disregard for sensible policy.

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