January 26, 2018 Radio Commentary

Marijuana: A Schedule I Controlled Substance

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, January 26, 2018 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Dangerous drugs are divided into classes – Schedule I, Schedule II and Schedule III. Marijuana and heroin are included in Schedule I because of (a) their high potential for abuse; (b) there is no currently accepted medical use for treatment in the United States; and (c) there is no way medical supervision can assure the safe use of marijuana or other controlled substances.

For those reasons, it is illegal for any person (1) to manufacture, dispense, or possess marijuana or any controlled substance.  Also, it is illegal to (2) create, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit of marijuana or other controlled substance.

As a Schedule I drug such as heroin, marijuana is legal under state laws, but not under federal law, which overrules state law if the federal government decides to enforce it.  During the last administration, the federal government refused to enforce laws against marijuana use.  A complete list of Schedule I drugs is available online, along with the Administrative Controlled Substances Code Number for each drug listed.

In its 2016 publication entitled, Warning … Medical Marijuana Has Dangerous Side Effects,Heartland Research Corp. listed 18 powerful professional organizations, universities, and publications that explain the consequences of ignoring the hazards of marijuana.  That booklet, also, provides data on nine horrific traffic accidents involving drivers under the influence of marijuana. Although today’s marijuana is more potent than before, with ever-increasing THC strengths being developed for commercial use, marijuana is becoming legal for medical use in more than half the United States, and for recreational use in eight states and the District of Columbia.

But, let’s not forget the debilitating physical effects of marijuana!  It has at least a short-term effect on attention, memory, learning and decision-making.  Adolescent brains are still growing until the person reaches the mid-20s, meaning the THC in marijuana may disrupt brain development.  A New Zealand study found that teens with “persistent marijuana use” lost six IQ points and had “a dismal set of life outcomes.”

With no field sobriety test to sort out marijuana users involved in traffic accidents, the problem of driving while stoned would be insurmountable if marijuana becomes readily available, legalized or decriminalized.  Inform your legislators that more research is necessary to scientifically prove the inevitable outcomes.  Please ask your legislators to vote NO on all pro-marijuana legislation, including H.R. 36 introduced in 2017.  As for this year’s bills, call Senator Renee Unterman at 404 463-1368 and ask her to defeat S.B. 344 and S.R. 614 in her committee. For Georgia Insight, I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.