Attorney General Jeff Sessions has long been a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization. At a Senate drug hearing in April of 2016, Sessions argued that lawmakers should send a clear message that "good people don’t smoke marijuana."
Here are some facts about cannabis that Jeff Sessions should learn:
1. George Washington cultivated hemp at Mt. Vernon
Historians universally acknowledge that George Washington grew hemp at his estate, Mr. Vernon. And he grew a lot of it. Washington used hemp to make clothes, rope, fishing nets, and a host of other supplies. As it turns out, hemp is very American.
2. It is impossible to overdose on cannabis
Unlike opioid drugs, marijuana cannot cause an overdose. Opioid drugs act on receptors in the brainstem, which controls respiration, so taking too much can cause you stop breathing. But cannabis cannot act on brain stem receptors, therefore it is impossible to overdose on marijuana.
3. No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose
Not a single record exists of a person dying because they consumed too much cannabis. One study concluded that a person would have to consume at least 20,000 times the amount of THC in a single joint in order to induce death by marijuana.
4. Medical marijuana is helping thousands of people around the country
Scientific research has demonstrated that marijuana has dozens of medical benefits. Medical marijuana can treat glaucoma, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel diseases, and anxiety. It can also reduce tremors from Parkinson's disease, relieve pain caused by multiple sclerosis and arthritis, slow the progression of Alzheimer's, and relieve the symptoms of Lupus, among other benefits.
5. Alcohol is a far more dangerous drug
While there has never been a case of someone dying from smoking too much marijuana, according to the CDC, a total of 30,000 people die every year due to alcohol poisoning or diseases caused by excessive alcohol consumption, such as cirrhosis. Meanwhile, the CDC does not attribute any annual deaths to marijuana-related health complications.
6. Marijuana is good for your brain
There is a growing body of research that supports the conclusions that marijuana actually promotes brain health and creativity. Some studies have found that cannabis improves verbal fluency and boosted performance on word association tests. Other studies have shown that it may prevent brain damage from concussions and strokes.
7. Marijuana is not a gateway drug
Politicians often use the myth that marijuana is a gateway drug to argue that it should be illegal, but the reality is that most people who try marijuana do not try other drugs. In 2009, 2.3 million people reported trying pot, but only 617,000 reported trying cocaine. And the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences reported in 1999 that there is no evidence showing marijuana causes a person to try other drugs.
If you are seeking to get legal access to medical marijuana in the Washington DC or Maryland areas, contact us! We can help.
Jeff Sessions Caricature: DonkeyHotey