Captain Sunshine: Reporting in on safety to use Cannabis under the Trump administration with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer (“Spicer”), and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (“Sessions”).
Spicer recently provided the opportunity for question to Arkansas reporters at Talk Business and Politics on February 23, 2017. Spicer reports the Trump Administration empathizes with Americans “pain and suffering” and the uses medical marijuana has on the quality of life of Americans and how it can increase their “comfort.” Spicer reports the Trump Administration recognizes the “Senate Appropriates Bill” and the Trump Administration will “not go after” medical marijuana businesses, collectives, or legitimate State licensed facilities for medical cannabis. I am extremely thankful the Trump Administration will recognize the scientific value medical cannabis offers to Americans. Cannabis has been extremely useful in my life assisting in my coping skills with my Post Traumatic Stress and depression. Sessions reported at his Senate Confirmation Hearings; concluding with the Senate voting and approving Sessions on February 8th, 2017. Sessions on the record said the Federal government “does not have the resources” and will observe “Lynch and Holder,” Sessions says during his Hearing testimony with the Senate.
What this means is medical Marijuana State laws will regulate and govern cannabis regulations. However, State recreational cannabis laws will not be observed with such compassion or empathy. Spicer reports the Trump Administration believes there is an Opioid epidemic in America, I completely agree, and does not want recreational marijuana to further spread the use of Opioids, which is false. I am an expert on substance use and abuse. I can understand their concern for the health and safety of the American populace when it comes to substance use and abuse. The challenges with health and safety for medical use of cannabis versus recreational use of cannabis is an extreme challenge to navigate for persons who are not educated on Adverse Childhood Experiences. To equate opioids with cannabis is a mistake. Importantly, science show the distinction between alcohol, opioids, and marijuana/ cannabis, shows cannabis to be less physically toxic than opioids and alcohol.
The Center for Disease Control reports ,” The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid,”[i] Spicer did not define and was not asked to define what an opioid is. That would be my question to the Trump Administration. The Center for Disease Control defines opioids on their website as “Natural opioid analgesics, including morphine and codeine, and semi-synthetic opioid analgesics, including drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone;” as well as “Methadone, a synthetic opioid;” in addition to “Synthetic opioid analgesics other than methadone, including drugs such as tramadol and fentanyl;” and “Heroin, an illicit (illegally-made) opioid synthesized from morphine that can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance.”[ii] Opioids are a whole other Universe of chemicals and substances that effect the mind and body of the human being versus cannabis.
The Center for Disease Control additionally reports “Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.”[iii] Whereas, the Center for Disease Control has no statistics to report for marijuana or cannabis related deaths like opioids or alcohol.
I can understand how the Trump Administration is afraid of recreational cannabis because yes, people who do have high Adverse Childhood Experience scores are more likely to become habitual smokers. This being said, cannabis is less toxic than alcohol which is legal and causes more deaths, domestic violence, and emergency services.
In the end I feel safe with medical cannabis moving forward with the Trump Administration, yet feel a sense of extreme caution entering into the Green Era of recreational cannabis.
[i] Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6550e1
[ii] Retrieved from on https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/analysis.html on February 23, 2017. Article.
[iii] Retrieved from on https://www.cdc.gov/features/alcohol-deaths/index.html February 23, 2017. Article.