"There is not a shred of scientific evidence that smoked marijuana is useful or needed."-Barry McCaffrey, former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
Last week, Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis, went on The Factor to tell Bill O'Reilly how smoking marijuana stimulates his appetite and relieves the pain and other symptoms of MS and that he completely supports legalizing medical marijuana. O'Reilly responded by saying that the medical marijuana issue is just a ruse by potheads to make weed legal, and why doesn't Montel just take Marinol instead?
Montel told O'Reilly that Marinol¢-a synthetic, FDA-approved pot pill (aka Dronabinol)-doesn't work nearly as well or as fast as smoking pot does.
The next night, O'Reilly interviewed Andrea Barthwell, the deputy director of the ONDCP who talked about how smoking marijuana is dangerous to the lungs, how it has dire social consequences, how there is no evidence of medicinal benefits, and that the synthetic capsule Marinol works just dandy-all which, of course, she would know better than people like Montel because she read an article about a guy who read an article about it once.
Now, we could sit here all day and argue the merits of Marinol vs. marijuana, but I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna talk about how Dronabinol takes one to two hours before any noticeable pain relief and four weeks to stimulate the appetite, while smoking grass will have your face in a tub of Skippy before the bubbles in the bongwater go bye-bye.
I'm not going to point out how there is no street market for Marinol, and that you never encounter dealers selling doses of Dronabinol at music festivals, and that nobody gets caught at the border with a trunk-load of synthetic marijuana pills-another clear indication that the shit don't work.
And I won't even cite the dozens of studies from Britain, Canada, France and the U.S. that laud real marijuana's medicinal benefits, or replay the testimony of the thousands of sufferers of chronic illness like MS, cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, glaucoma and ennui who say smoking weed saved their lives, or at least their will to live.
I'm not going to shove any of these things into the face of the ONDCP to show that not only is there more than a "shred" of evidence; there's a goddam mountain of it, a towering, spewing volcano showering down molten evidence all around us that suggests that maybe-just freaking maybe-marijuana does have medicinal benefits and the fact that the ONDCP so unflinchingly closes its mind to that possibility tells me everything I need to know about that particular bullshit bureaucracy.
I'm not gonna talk about any of that today, because it misses the real point, which is this: If Marinol is the same as marijuana, then what difference does it make how it's ingested?
Why is it OK to eat pot pills but not OK to smoke pot?
Could it be that the ONDCP is less concerned with the health of the public and more concerned with reinforcing the monopolies currently enjoyed by the drug companies? Could it be that the ONDCP prefers to keep its citizens hooked on the pills that are heavily taxed by government agencies rather than allow people to grow their own medicine in their backyards for a fraction of the cost?
I'm no conspiracy theorist, but I just don't buy any of these ONDCP arguments, like "dire social consequences." It seems to me, socially speaking, marijuana is far superior to pills. Pot users generally smoke while sitting in social circles discussing a wide range of issues from politics to astronomy to such spiritual quests as whether Roger Waters is an actual God or just one of the lower orders of demigod, while doll-poppers are reclusive little turds with dark rings under their eyes and an unhealthy fixation with daytime soap operas. And sure, smoking marijuana is probably bad for your lungs, but taking pills ravages the liver and the central nervous system and, really, can't I make my own decisions about which body parts I choose to pollute? Because right now, the government is deciding that for me and-surprise, surprise-the government is doing it all wrong.
Deeming some drugs legal and others illegal radically interferes with your ability to maintain a proper Drug Rotation System. A well-planned Drug Rotation System reduces wear and tear on your organs. For instance, I prefer the four-day plan: Drink your way into oblivion on Friday and lacerate that liver. Do some coke on Saturday and harden the heart. Smoke weed on Sunday and blacken up those lungs a bit. Eat a pill on Monday to decentralize the central nervous system. Throw in a mushroom cap here, a dose of acid there, smoke a little crack for special occasions like weddings and Christmas parties, and what you have is a perfectly managed drug rotation that minimizes the wear and tear on any one organ so you can get the most out of all of them.
However if I were to heed the law, I'd only be able to drink alcohol for my psychoactive recreational purposes and would have died of cirrhosis at the age of 35 with a perfectly healthy heart and lungs, which is all just a really longwinded way to say, "Everything in moderation."
No fucking duh.
Just another reason why government agencies shouldn't stick their noses anywhere near decisions that have to do with our bodies.Send hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and copy email@example.com if you hate him, too.