Officials with the Trump administration spoke out against cannabis this week. First, the United States Surgeon General issued an advisory warning about the harms of cannabis consumption. “The legalization movement may be impacting youth perception of harm from marijuana,” the advisory stated.
The advisory was largely directed at pregnant women and adolescents and its publication will be partially funded by a $100,000 donation from President Donald Trump’s salary. It did not take long for the cannabis community to take issue with the approach that the United States Surgeon General is pursuing.
“It has long been acknowledged that cannabis is a mood-altering substance with some risk potential. In fact, it is precisely because marijuana use may pose potential risks to certain consumers — for example, adolescents or people with a family history of psychiatric illness — that NORML believes that lawmakers should regulate it accordingly.” NORML‘s Executive Director Erik Altieri stated in a press release in reaction to the Surgeon General’s advisory.
Altieri went on to say, “Our current model of federal prohibition represents the utter lack of control over any aspect of marijuana or the marijuana market. The Surgeon General’s time would be better spent advocating for a legally and tightly regulated cannabis market – one in which we educate Americans about the potential harms and benefits of cannabis through evidence-based public education campaigns – rather than through fear-mongering.”
Later in the day Trump cabinet official Alex Azar (Health and Human Services) was on Fox Business promoting the advisory, but in the process, inadvertently made the case for a regulated cannabis industry when he himself pointed out that the unregulated cannabis industry doesn’t have consumer labels, which would obviously help with addressing concerns about public health education.
Today’s comments by members of the Trump administration were well summed up by Morgan Fox from the National Cannabis Industry Association, as reported by Marijuana Moment:
“Despite a lot of misinformation and selective analysis being promoted by the surgeon general and HHS today, pretty much everything they said has bolstered the case for making cannabis legal and regulated at the federal level,” Morgan Fox, media relations director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, told Marijuana Moment. “Research, honest fact-based education, and effective public health resource allocation are all stymied by prohibition.”
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