Drug Czar fields tough questions about Obama administration’s “Mixed Signals” regarding marijuana

This Is Your Brain on Damage Control

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Shawn Carrié

A 2014 hearing shows the Office of National Drug Control Policy struggling to stick to its anti-marijuana message in light of widespread decriminalization and Colorado’s legalization.

Released as part of a series of requests for responses to Congressional Committees filed by Michael Morisy in 2013, the hearing shows the ONDCP in the difficult position of reassuring Congress that curbing pot use is still a priority, with a budget that says the exact opposite:

Obama’s remarks that marijuana is “less dangerous than alcohol” was a source of much concern for Congressman John Mica, which the ODNCP addressed by not really answering his questions.

Those kind of verbal gymnastics are on display all over the hearing. When faced with a direct question over which is more dangerous, cocaine or marijuana, ODNCP argues that its schedule 1 classification has nothing to do with how harmful it is, per se, but rather that “lacks currently accepted medical use.”

While there are some glaucoma patients in California that may find that information surprising, again, that’s not really what the Congressman was asking. The ONDCP’s own answer indicates that a substance’s legal classification is a different matter entirely from how addicting or dangerous it is, and yet both questions get the same response.

Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug.

Read through the full hearing on the request page, or embedded below:


Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0