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The history of “No medicine is smoked” in the 1990s:

General Barry McCaffrey became the U.S. drug czar. The increased discussion around medical marijuana was becoming a real problem for the establishment. The drug czar and his office had a big budget. I think around a million bucks, which they put into an authorized study on medical marijuana. To make a very long story short, a year or so later, they came out with a report. Basically, the drugs czar’s report on medical marijuana.

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The report was an attempt by honest scientists to work for profoundly dishonest propaganda or for the drug czar. But they came out and basically said that cannabis is no more dangerous than the other drugs in regards of the risk of cannabis, because I mean, virtually every aspirin cause stomach bleeding, etc. It’s accepted. They understand that drugs have risks.

On the other hand, smoking is a bad thing. It took a while for the idea that tobacco smoking was a bad thing to be accepted because most doctors smoked until a majority of doctors managed to stop smoking. We didn’t really get into too much embarrassing stuff. Believe me, that’s just a bit of a joke. Not much.

The fact is that “smoking is a bad thing” is generally accepted. One of the bits of propaganda about the “fact” that marijuana smoke was supposed to be more dangerous than tobacco smoke. There are significant differences, to put it mildly, between cannabis and tobacco. Tobacco nicotine is highly toxic; THC and the other cannabinoids are not. Nicotine is a constrictor which reduces circulation particularly in the lungs. THC is not. But the government was, of course, funding research to say how dangerous marijuana smoke was. And so they kept funding. The study’s final findings that their ultimate authority concluded was that there is not only far less cancer among marijuana smokers than there is in tobacco smokers; but in actuality, there is slightly less lung cancer among marijuana smokers than there is among non-smokers.

Well, he was ready to retire and stop the research anyway. Said it is known that smoking is a bad thing. You know that all medicines have their risks. So you know that cannabis, generally, was no more risky than the other medicine. What if it’s far less risky than most medicine? Never mind.

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But the only way known to mankind to consume cannabis was by smoking doobies. You know, marijuana isn’t any more dangerous than anything else out there. So if you won’t let people risk their lives by using it, it wouldn’t be so bad. But you can’t let ’em smoke because it says that smoking is bad. And so we had one of the greatest discoveries of the drug war: the slogan, “No medicine is smoked.” This is somewhat more sophisticated version of “It ain’t medicine unless the FDA says it is.”

So if the FDA doesn’t say it’s medicine and it has to be smoked, you’ve got total proof that marijuana is not medical because no medicine is smoked, and the FDA hasn’t said it is. What the hell do you want?

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The irony of it (and what really puzzles me) is the scientists’ report from the drug czar, contained something heard from a number of witnesses, including Dr. Lester Grinspoon. It stated that you don’t have to smoke marijuana. You can vaporize it. How do we deal with that?

You just cut that part out, and say “No medicine is smoked!” So that’s what they did. If you look down in the footnotes, one reference to vaporization is still there, but no medicine is smoked became the mantra for prohibitionism circa the last 20 years, and you still see it. There was a medical marijuana bill the other day in one of those states, and they would approve it. But patients couldn’t smoke it. Smoking today, if you’re excluding vaporization, is not so much of a problem to the sick humor of marijuana prohibition, for example, or medical marijuana. Even though there is “no medical value in marijuana,” the government has approved and patented a drug called Marinol, which is synthetic THC in vegetable oil. And that’s legal. It has absolutely no problems like Mother’s Milk. Marinol is a pharmaceutical drug, but it’s pure THC. No CBD known. That’s OK. But if it’s THC in the bud, that’s a bad thing.

One reason why patients don’t like Marinol is because it’s pure THC; it has no CBD. One reason why the Brits are so nuts about skunk strain of marijuana is that it is high THC and very little CBD. They know that, but you can’t legally talk about legalizing marijuana in the U.K. because that would mean you have skunk every place. However, you don’t have this problem in Amsterdam where you can buy weed over the counter and choose.

Richard Cowan is a former National Director of NORML, and co-founder of CBD Seniors. For more CBD news, visit CBD Seniors by clicking here!

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