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Intolerance for Anti-Marijuana Rhetoric is Higher than Ever

An October 25th Gallup poll showed 64% of Americans support marijuana legalization. This all time high in support for legalization of cannabis is a mix of support for full recreational legalization and support for medical marijuana legalization. There are a couple of commonalities though, which is that both types of supporter would have marijuana rescheduled, and they do not believe the anti-marijuana rhetoric coming from the likes of Chris Christie and Jeff Sessions.

Chris Christie is using his position as chairman of the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to spread anti-marijuana rhetoric. Christie referred to marijuana legalization supporters as “crazy liberals” and wrote that they are trying to “poison our kids.” However, polls around the country are clearly showing that the majority of Americans are not listening.

Congress just gave the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which bars the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute people buying or selling medical marijuana in states that have legalized it, a temporary reprieve until Dec. 22.Sessions and Christie Must Stop Telling Lies About Marijuana

A recent Gallup poll revealed support for legalizing marijuana is the highest it’s been since the question was first asked in the US in 1969. The poll showed a four-point uptick from a year ago with 64 percent of Americans supporting legalizing marijuana for medical and adult use.

Sessions’ misguided approaches are mirrored by an equally disturbing misinformation effort by the chairman of the Trump Administration’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, the unpopular New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

In the fall, Christie released a letter announcing recommendations made by the opioids commission and at an event announcing these recommendations, he called supporters of marijuana legalization “crazy liberals” who want to “poison our kids.” Christie went on to compare medical marijuana laws to the over-prescribing of opioids that led to the current opioid epidemic.

On the other hand, the opioid epidemic, which was largely sparked by a quadrupling of federally legal doctor-prescribed painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin since 1999, caused 59,000 deaths due to overdoses in 2016 according to a recent investigation by the New York Times. Tragically, this makes deaths from opioids the leading cause of death of Americans under age 50.

However, we shouldn’t tolerate lies about cannabis and successful approaches to fairly license, tax, regulate and enforce the plant. We also shouldn’t accept Christie’s and Sessions’ failed “War on Drugs” rhetoric, which only appears to be filled with personal ideologies and void of any sound supporting data and scientific facts as a viable drug reforms for our country. We can and must do better.

Amendments removing funding from the federal government to pursue state legalized medical marijuana have been a saving grace for the marijuana industry, but they cannot last forever without a real change to legislation concerning marijuana. Would you trust the pharmaceutical industry with taking over the nationwide medical marijuana policy from states?

read more at newsweek.com

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