The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has just released a 94-page report titled “Drugs of Abuse” with which they are hoping to educate the general public about the dangers of drug use.
Identifying and discussing dangerous drugs including fentanyl, heroin and pharmaceutical opioids, the report becomes increasingly interesting when you reach the section regarding cannabis.
The report opens with:
“Education plays a critical role in preventing substance abuse. Drugs of Abuse, a DEA Resource Guide is designed to be a reliable resource on the most commonly abused and misused drugs in the United States.
This comprehensive guide provides information about the harms and consequences of drug use by describing a drug’s effects on the body and mind, overdose potential, origin, legal status, and other key facts.”
While the report is straightforward regarding its description of the substance, referring to the plant as a “dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves.” The most surprising statement in the report is the admission that “[n]o deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported.”
The classification of cannabis and its potential healing properties has been a topic of great debate in recent years, with supporters of cannabis use calling for the substance to be rescheduled and no longer considered to be federally illegal citing the medical benefits. The report fails to recognize any of the medicinal uses, it does go on to state that cannabis use can cause “[m]erriment, happiness, and even exhilaration at high doses,” as well as “[d]isinhibition, relaxation, increased sociability, and talkativeness.”
Of course, the report is quick to state the potential dangerous effects of marijuana, stating:
“Marijuana smokers experience serious health problems such as bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma. Extended use may cause suppression of the immune system. Withdrawal from chronic use of high doses of marijuana causes physical signs including headache, shakiness, sweating, and stomach pains and nausea.”
While the report is still clearly pushing the agenda of the DEA, the admission that no one has died is a step forward from previous discussions pertaining to the substance. Supporters of the use of cannabis, especially those that are pushing for the freedom to use medicinal marijuana for conditions ranging from cancer and AIDS to anxiety and depression, will continue to fight against the negative image that the DEA is attempting to create in regards to cannabis and its use.[mashshare]