Whether you use cannabis or not, the laws surrounding it are pretty difficult to get your head around.
Cannabis is a natural medicine that can be used for a huge array of health issues,yet the government continues to hide the truth from the public eye.
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) still refuse to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category. This means that in the eyes of the law, weed has no medicinal benefits and is deemed a deadly drug. Which in reality, is pretty ridiculous.
Despite not one person having ever died due to marijuana, the war on cannabis rages on.
Medical science research is constantly denied by government agencies, who claim drugs such as Fentanyl, cocaine and even meth are all safer substances!
You can check out the DEA’s guidebook on illicit substances here for the full list.
For now, here’s a taste of just some of the drugs deemed safer than cannabis by the United States.
1. Benzodiazepines: Schedule VI
Benzodiazepines, or ‘Benzos,’ are psychoactive drugs found in many pharmaceuticals that aim to treat anxiety-related disorders, such as Valium and Xanax.
While there are cases where Benzos have been successful, there is evidence that shows they can be highly addictive. With claims they don’t actually treat the anxiety, but instead, mask it.
In 2015 alone, 8,000 people died from Benzodiazepines in the US alone!
Click here for more shocking data on the death toll by pharmaceutical drugs.
2. Hydrocodone: Schedule II
Hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic opioid, synthesized from codeine . It can be used for round-the-clock treatment of severe pain in patients.
By attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors, the drug reduces pain and can create a sense of euphoria. The substance also interacts with the reward system in the brain, which can make the substance highly addictive for some users.
Continued use of Hydrocodone has been known to cause short-term and long-term damage to users’ mental and physical states.
3. Morphine: Schedule II
Morphine is an opiate narcotic painkiller and has high potential for abuse. Although it is one of the oldest pharmaceuticals, morphine is still popular for pain relief.
When used recreationally, inappropriately or in high doses, morphine can quickly take a hold on the user and an addiction can easily be formed.
Due to its potency and its positive reinforcement with our brains’ reward pathways, it isn’t hard to believe morphine addiction rates are very high. It is possible for a tolerance to form in the user, which in turn creates a vicious cycle for using more.
Morphine abuse is especially dangerous because of the potential breathing problems it can induce. If the user is mixing the drug with alcohol or other drugs, these respiratory problems can become life-threatening.
4. Fentanyl: Schedule II
Back in the early 60s, Fentanyl made its way into the pharmaceutical industry. Its use quickly became widespread due to it being between 50 and 100 times stronger than morphine!
It might sound like a great way to get rid of aches and pains, but its strength and addictive nature is the reason it kills nearly 10,000 U.S. citizens every year.
The opioid crisis is growing. Fentanyl is heroin’s synthetic cousin and is among one of the worst offenders for drug death tolls.
Looking identical to heroin and being a lot stronger, users are accidentally overdosing and seeing serious side effects from a `bad batch` of heroin laced with Fentanyl.
Still think weed is such a bad drug?
5. Cocaine: Schedule II
Coke, “charlie,” “blow,” “snow,” whatever you know it as, this is a drug that is everywhere!
Even some poor greyhounds are fed cocaine before racing!
The drug sends high levels of dopamine into areas of the brain that are responsible for creating pleasure. The excessive buildup causes a high, which inevitably leads to a come down when the hit starts to slow, making it a highly addictive substance.
In the U.K., cocaine-related deaths rose 16 percent in 2016 and the number is only getting higher.
If you want to know more about the short and long-term side effects of the drug click here.
6. Laudanum: Schedule II
Doctors now warn people about mixing opioids with alcohol, but that wasn’t always the case.
In the 19th century, Laudanum was arguably the most popular recreational and medicinal drug. It appears in a variety of novels including Mary Shelley’s ”Frankenstein,” Charles Dickens’ ”Oliver Twist” and Thomas De Quincey’s autobiography ”Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.”
When Laudanum, an alcohol-based opium drug, was mixed with alcohol, it formed a lethal and addictive cocktail.
Medical professionals in the 19th century used Laudanum as a viable treatment for pretty much anything, from coughing to rheumatism and anything in-between. The drug was even prescribed to children.
7. Methadone: Schedule II
Methadone can be argued to be a necessary evil. With many morphine addicts using it to cut down their independence levels.
But… it is still addictive… and just as deadly.
Alongside helping those with addiction rehabilitation, methadone can aid chronic pain including those associated with cancer.
While is is considered a safer alternative to some other narcotics, there is a high risk for dangerous side effects and abuse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributes around 5,000 annual deaths to methadone abuse.
8. Oxycodone: Schedule II
Oxycodone was created when a German pharmacist synthesized the opioid alkaline found in Persian poppies near the end of WWI.
The original intent was to create a painkiller that was less addictive than morphine and heroin but was just was effective.
Intentions were good but the outcome, sadly, was not.
Unfortunately, Oxycodone is as effective but is also just as deadly.
Long-term side effects of the drug include amenorrhoea, reduced libido, infertility, depression, erectile dysfunction and death.
9. Methamphetamine: Schedule II
Meth is a substance that increases the amount of natural dopamine in the brain. The drugs ability to release higher levels of dopamine provide a rush of euphoria that both starts and fades quickly.
People often become addicted and take meth in a “binge-crash” pattern. In some cases, users take the drug on a “run” pattern, giving up food and sleep for anywhere between a few hours to several days, continuously using the drug.
If “Breaking Bad” wasn’t enough to put you off taking methamphetamine, even small amounts can result in adverse health risks such as an irregular heartbeat, insomnia and breathing problems.
Long-term effects include severe weight loss, dental problems (“meth mouth”), intense itching that can lead to sores and infection, violent behaviors, paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety and confusion.
Meth can permanently change the dopamine levels in the brain, which can make rehabilitation very difficult.
When you read the facts, it seems unreal that cannabis is deemed more dangerous than this frightening list!
The war on drugs rages on but steps are being taken to move to a more grass-friendly world.
What do you think about marijuana’s Schedule I rating by the DEA? Is it fair or ridiculous? Let us know in the comments!
by Leah Jade