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Drug War is Such a Violent Failure, Surgeon General Speaking Up For First Time Ever

  1. SmokeTwibz

    It’s a new year, and finally, a new voice will be added to the drug war debate. The federal government will actually get scientific input on drugs, and it will make prohibition look all that much more absurd.

    Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, the nation’s top public health official, will be “presenting the state of the science on substance use, addiction and health,” in the first-ever report from that office.
    “It’s time for us to have a conversation in this country that’s based on facts; A conversation that’s based on medicine and science.

    Which is why I’m proud to announce that next year, I will be releasing the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on substance use, addiction, and health. We’re going to look at the best science on everything, from heroin and marijuana, to alcohol and prescription opioids.”​

    The report’s broad scope will look at the impact of all drugs, legal and illicit, “with the goal of capturing the current landscape of the impact of alcohol and drug issues on health…” to work toward “prevention, treatment and recovery.”

    The Surgeon General’s report will also address “ethical, legal and policy issues,” and those conclusions will be eagerly awaited by those who are fighting to end the senseless, immoral War on Drugs.
    “Areas of focus in the report may include the history of the prevention, treatment, and recovery fields; components of the substance use continuum (i.e., prevention, treatment, and recovery); epidemiology of substance use, misuse, and substance use disorders; etiology of substance misuse and related disorders; neurobiological base of substance misuse and related disorders; risk and protective factors; application of scientific research in the field, including methods, challenges, and current and future directions; social, economic, and health consequences of substance misuse; co-occurrence of substance use disorders and other diseases and disorders; the state of health care access and coverage as it relates to substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery; integration of substance use disorders, mental health, and physical health care in clinical settings; national, state, and local initiatives to assess and improve the quality of care for substance misuse and related disorders; organization and financing of prevention, treatment, and recovery services within the health care system; ethical, legal, and policy issues; and potential future directions.”​

    The Surgeon General will undoubtedly confirm the preponderance of scientific evidence that has emerged on the medical benefits of cannabis. We have reported extensively on the various ways in which cannabis provides treatment for illnesses, both physical and mental. This should utterly demolish the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug with “no currently accepted medical use.”

    The fact that 23 states in the U.S. have recognized the benefits of medical cannabis, legalizing its use, should be reason enough to invalidate the Schedule 1 classification. A landmark study presented at the American Epilepsy Society showed the astonishing effectiveness of the cannabis extract cannabidiol (CBD) for treating epilepsy. The National Cancer Institute admitted that cannabis kills cancer cells. People use cannabis to treat a variety of conditions that arise from inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease and nerve pain, yet are being arrested for it and having their kids taken away.

    We can only hope that the Surgeon General’s report serves to cure the primitive mindsets that still inhabit government, such as DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg who said medical cannabis is “a joke.” Tell that to the countless children whose lives have been saved by this incredible plant. To the drug warriors – child suffering – is a joke.

    In the broader sense, the report should serve as a catalyst for government to change its stance on drug use and addiction. Instead of criminalizing this behavior—throwing people in jail, ruining lives and breaking up families—drug abuse should be treated by physicians and addiction centers.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented data on drug overdose death rates from 2001-2014, and it does not look good.
    Prescription drug overdose deaths have nearly tripled since 2001
    Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 2001
    Benzodiazepine overdose deaths have increased by more than 600% since 2001
    Cocaine overdose deaths are up 42% since 2001
    Heroin overdose deaths are up nearly 500% since 2001​

    In addition to this, “alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years”—increasing 37 percent since 2002. These deaths are from causes such as alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, and do not include deaths from drunk driving and other accidents. Contrast these statistics with cannabis, which has caused zero overdose deaths and causes virtually no driving impairment.

    Clearly, the U.S. government’s approach to drugs is a failure. The criminalization of certain drugs, and the complicity in the use of alcohol and prescription pills, has only exacerbated the problem of abuse to epidemic proportions. Portugal, which took the opposite approach in 2001 by decriminalizing all drugs, has seen a drastic decline in drug use, overdoses and crime.

    If the scientific input of the Surgeon General has any influence on government’s approach, we should move rapidly toward ending prohibition so drug abuse can be properly addressed. It will also highlight the fact that cannabis has potent medical benefits and causes no overdose deaths, which by any logic should bring decriminalization and freedom to Americans who use this plant.

    January 2, 2016
    Justin Gardner | TheFreeThoughtProject

    Author Bio

    My name is Jason Jones. I'm from Rochester, MN and I'm 35 years old. I scrap metal and work as grounds keeper at a local trailer park. In the winter, I shovel a bunch of driveways and sidewalks to make some extra money and to stay busy. In my free time, I try to find interesting articles about the war on drugs that I can post on Drugs-Forum, so that the information can reach a wider audience.


  1. staples
    Re: Drug War is Such a Violent Failure, Surgeon General Speaking Up For First Time Ev

    Such changes are obviously welcome, although from the title of the article I kind of expected to read about the likely implications of this for overall drug policy. I didn't expect the ironically-opinionated/biased (and seemingly-bitter) narrative it turned out to be, but even so it's surprisingly hopeful. Is it really going to be this simple? Science is in the conversation now, so everyone will realize the error of their ways, etc. etc.?

    While the author is on the subject, perhaps it's now time to carefully consider the things being reported as facts? The CDC data from the article isn't (apparently) accessible through CDC Wonder, since there's no current classification code (or no attribution yet) to designate "benzodiazepine overdose" as the cause of death. Are these data taken from the "multiple causes of death" data? If so then obviously these data don't necessarily mean what they are reported to mean, and this doesn't exactly help me trust the author to interpret data from Portugal's drug policy! On top of that, did anyone else find it extremely peculiar that the author offers no explanation or source when minimizing the risks of driving while intoxicated as "virtually" benign (with respect to cannabis)? A quick Google Scholar search reveals that this is not nearly the case, or it's at least not so simple...

    I don't really want to turn this to a cannabis debate (there are plenty of those already, and there are so many more points at which the authenticity of this article could be questioned), it just leaves me almost speechless to read so many cringe-worthy claims right after "Finally the government will consider scientific facts when discussing drug policy! So finally they'll see all these things about cannabis: ...!". It seems like this can only perpetuate a sense of injustice, since readers may be disappointed when so many "facts" are "ignored"...
  2. crossbowhunter49
    Re: Drug War is Such a Violent Failure, Surgeon General Speaking Up For First Time Ev

    I agree the "THE WAR ON DRUGS " isn't really working at all because there are more deaths from drugs than ever before This Bull Shit SO CALLED WAR ON DRUGS BEGAN If the Federal Government would just make weed legal to poses in personal amounts nothing large & leave us the fuck alone If the US would just let the weed smokers the hell alone & go after those that are caught with 20-50 pounds of Meth. Coke & a pusher that is arrested with extra large amount chemical man made dope well they sure as hell ain't going to donate that much to a pharmacy they clearly have intent to sell these people are just drug dealers & put them all in jail till they get there day in Court like everyone else. But if a person has just a small amount of pot either for medical or just like to smoke for whatever reason. But no they are punished about as much as a long life Violent thug who's spent his/her life inflecting terror by robbing raping & murder anyone who's only reason they are dead there life is over just because they happen come in contact with these monsters I also know that there local Police Dept & if not the entire country would rip it's self apart . But DEA spends multi multi millions of the Federal Resources On looking for pot plants & arresting a persons who may smoke a joint once in a while and even may have grown a small amount for there own use shouldn't even be breaking no law in the first place . Why Not put all of those resources into dealing with the bad drugs & the Rx drug epidemic+ the other drugs that's killing thousands every day . I have people say to me & i quote POT IS A GATEWAY DRUG. ok that bullshit is stated Federal Law the government too now all of the SCHII drugs & these drugs are presenting a much more danger than a pot plant or 2 . Now explain to me how pot can be a gateway drug to these drugs according to the law are safer & have medical use & they sure being used prescriptions by the millions are written each & every day in the USA & then just out right lie to it's people about all of the medical benefits being discovered all of the time Pot that is a SCH 1 & is more dangerous & has no medical use. I am not a very ecuated person but i am not a idiot either how can a SCH 1 drug that really isn't a real drug} God made all life human or otherwise} by Federal Law Pot possess no medical use can be a GATEWAY to a lesser SCHII ,II. IV & so on .This is nothing but a bunch of Hypocrites & by there own words OH & i forget Herion is also SCHI with pot because the say it doesn't have any medical use bad drug i agree with this concerning Herion it's a very bad drug Then they have the gall to make a simple naturally going plant that grows in the wild & it's been used as a medicine long before it got listed as a dangerous SCH 1drug after The Government got involved & then. OH MY Pot is a danger to everyone so lets put in the SCH 1 along with Herion And let's not forget that we are also a nation of millions of heavy ,chronic to out right drunks too. Drinking & drunk driving has caused so much grief & untold countless misery to countless families abuse & spouse abuse why doesn't government put booze in the SCH like all of the other dangerous drugs are in THEY ARE MAKING MONEY HAD OVER FIST THAT'S WHY & just as soon as the Government figures out to get there cut from the weed boom it's coming sooner or later i will bet my bottom dollar it would be legal within a year or maybe less . Plus all of the RX pill abuse has really made it difficult to get any kind of the powerful pain pills to those who take the as the Dr prescribed just about any Dr except a cash only paying Pain Clinic will not prescribe any kind of pain meds Unless Yo can the pay the $171.61 & this was the cheapest of the cheap clinics. for each monthly visit is impossible for me & the other millions to pay for. I don't get near 3x of the one single monthly visit I am not a soldier but i think it's time to retreat until someone creates some changes that make since to people Our Government seems to care much more about making the fortune from all of the arrests & the court fines & costs alone for pot smokers & DUI which our Government paved the way re guarding the legal sale of booze In the end it really failed. So has the War On Drugs The Feds know that there are much more dangerous drugs than a mere plant I want ot get something clear i am not a angel nor i am a monster i have used pot before & it help this unholy chronic back pain I am taking over 18 Rx from my Dr & i know of at least 4-5 Rx i could stop if i could use a little bit of weed but the Feds continue to out right lie to us & Pot is still a SCH 1 Controlled Shit man i have several scripts that will make weed look like Asprin low dose LOL Unbelievable What about something that is much more important than any about of money all of the bloody wives children husbands & broken homes & DUI. DWI deaths Just from the sale of booze alone I know one should drink a lesser amount but they too are addicted on the booze so they abuse it . I know that they will be a million that will disagree with every word i have written & to be honest i don't care I have been as honest more than others that beat around the bush & if the problems are ignored then all of the drinking & drugs will go away sooner or later I SAY THAT THERE ARE NONE THAT ARE SO BLIND AT THOSE WHO JUST WILL NOT SEE .I am done sorry i wrote a short novel . I have researched about pot smokers & not ever never has pot caused a death from smoking it we can't say this about any other drug controlled or not This is what i honestly think about the WAR ON DRUGS And another thing hi level corruption in the Feds ranks are being paid off for info that will no doubt end in someunder cover agent's' thats is honestly trying to make a difference murdered. This is one of the worst reasons that THE WAR ON DRUGS is really a lost cause . We don't here of this kind of corruption very often because it just gets buried & forgotten in time .
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