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Surgeon General Says Stop Locking People Up For Marijuana

Surgeon General Marijuana

On July 16, 2021, the United States Surgeon General made a statement that went against years — no, decades! — of prior official policy.

According to the nation’s top doctor, it’s time to stop locking up people who use marijuana.

U.S. Surgeon General’s Remarks on Marijuana

As stated by the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy:

I don’t think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use. I don’t think that serves anybody well.

Murthy said this in response to a CNN question that asked for his thoughts on a federal marijuana legalization bill that was circulating through the senate. His comments may not have been overtly pro-legalization, but they do show some pretty clear support for decriminalization.

According to Dr. Murthy, this change is only logical. In that sense, it marks a clear departure from the paranoia-driven policies of decades past.

Dr. Murthy continues:

I think we have to let science guide us. And we know that the science tells us that there are some benefits to marijuana from a medical perspective but there are also some harms that we have to consider — and we have to put those together as we think about the right policy.

At the same time, Murphy feels that cannabis laws shouldn’t outpace the available science.

I worry when we don’t let science guide our process and policymaking. And as surgeon general that’s my role: […] to work with policymakers who work with members in the community and the general public to help people understand what science tells us and where you find gaps, to help fill those gaps with research and with honest inquiry.

At a time when political figures are known to sway back and forth in a bid to win over public opinion, the Surgeon General’s perspective is refreshingly consistent.

As far back as 2015, Murthy was talking about “preliminary data” that showed “for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful.”

Decriminalization is gathering steam on the state level, too. In Maryland, lawmakers are looking for ways to amend the discriminatory law enforcement of years past. According to former U.S. Secretary of Education John King:

Black Marylanders are nearly twice as likely as white Marylanders to be arrested for cannabis despite using it at the same rate. It’s time to legalize [cannabis] and expunge records for non-violent offenders.

Maryland’s former state Attorney General, Doug Gansler, fully agrees:

The consequences of a simple marijuana possession conviction can derail someone’s life, closing the door to jobs and more. That is why we need to legalize cannabis in Maryland and establish a comprehensive system to expunge possession records.

As more and more states make their own moves towards complete decriminalization, the federal decriminalization movement only continues to gain support.

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One Comment

  1. I voted for legalization of Medical MJ in Florida. I am disappointed and concerned over how it has and is being administered. All one has to do to get it is get a “doctor” to approve it and then they write a unspecific and unmonitored distribution and expensive distribution of it. It then leads to one getting high all the time and overuse of MJ and then wanting to get higher and thus going on to narcotics and becoming a hard drug addict . This has happened to a loved one of mine who is now in Re-hab, in legal problems over trying to get an even higher high and facing prison time as a result, financially broke, and no real help with the “medical” problems MJ was supposed to help with. It should be legal for REAL medical pain problems but closely supervised, limited, and regulated like narcotics, and with specific prescriptions as far as exactly what kind, the specific dosages, etc. IT IS BEING ABUSED AND IS DOING HARM IN FAR TOO MANY CASES, ESPECIALLY AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE!

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