Just say “No” to Kennedy for Drug Czar


According to a recent, public support among Americans for the legalization of cannabis is greater than ever Gallop survey showing almost 70% of Americans in favor. In some ways, President-elect Biden seems willing to turn a deaf ear to changing public sentiment about cannabis. The historical diversity of his cabinet gives confidence to the belief that he could only be serious about social equity issues. Biden’s appointment to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for Health Czar is a hopeful sign that the incoming administration will take public opinion seriously on the bipartisan issue of legalization.

Soon, Biden will also have to appoint a drug tsar, a crucial position for the majority of the public who believe it is time to end the cannabis ban and the unjust imprisonment of nonviolent offenders. This is where the president-elect will reveal his true commitment to social justice, decriminalization and reprogramming.

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy is the most prominent name he ran to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy. There are few less qualified or suitable candidates.

Kennedy, a Democrat, is a setback to Reefer Madness ’hysteria. “Marijuana destroys the brain and speeds up psychosis,” he said he stated in a typical rogue, without evidence. “In general, it is a very dangerous drug … there is no distinction between the quality and the types of drugs to which people become addicted.” [i.e., there’s no difference between a meth addiction and a cannabis habit]… “it’s as destructive as alcohol and tobacco.”

These erroneous claims are easily refuted by the hundreds of clinical studies conducted in PubMed, the online database of the National Library of Medicine of the United States (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In fact, these claims are easily refuted by the WE government’s own statistics on overdose deaths, traffic accidents and drug use during pregnancy.

Since leaving office in 2011, Affected Patrick Kennedy, a recovered drug addict, has used public spotlight to double the ban, co-founding the country’s leading prohibitionist organization, the so-called Smart Approaches to Marijuana. Kennedy’s criminalization philosophy is incorrect. In the context of a life-threatening pandemic, an economic recession, debilitating student debt, rising climate fires and ingrained racial disparities, the focus on the perpetuation of the war on drugs is tonic and deaf and anachronistic, especially at a time when the Democratic Party is striving to increase voter turnout among people under 35.

Also of concern is Kennedy’s questionable use of opioid addiction companies, he reported. Politician and other media outlets, which characterized the former politician as “the unlikely player for companies wanting to benefit from the Trump administration’s multimillion-dollar response to the opioid crisis” and a “nexus of union between government, private sector and patient advocacy work “.

To his credit, Kennedy has done much to highlight mental health issues during his post-congress career. But even this effort has been affected by its biases and blind spots. On delivery a plea of ​​color in Congress for more funding in mental health, Kennedy noted that “America’s largest mental health institution today is the prison system.” He is right about that. What he doesn’t point out is that the cannabis ban is one of the main reasons the United States invests more in prisons than in mental health treatment and anxiety relief.

There are many signs that indicate that WE it is moving in a better direction of drug policy. The passage of the MONTH It acts for the WE The House of Representatives – which would decriminalize cannabis – was an important milestone. And the WE The recent Senate approval of the Expansion of Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Act also represents significant, though long-awaited, progress in the effort to expand legal scientific research on the therapeutic potential of cannabis. Both show that our federal government is willing to re-examine cannabis policy.

In this context, we hope that Rep. Patrick Kennedy will not succeed in his attempt to become Tsar of Biden drugs. It would be a giant step backwards.

Possibly at the most charismatic moment of his post-election victory speech in Delaware, incoming President Joe Biden spoke directly and confidently to the African American community, saying, “You’ve always had your back and I’ll have yours,” referring to overwhelming support he received among black voters who catapulted him into the presidency.If Joe Biden intends to keep that promise, it would be a terrible mistake to appoint an old-school drugged warrior and the new director of national control policy of drugs.

Kyle Lee is an associate under CannaCraft, Inc., a major cannabis company in California and recently graduated from Columbia University.

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