NORML's Reefer Madness Du Jour: Florida Drug Czar Cries Wolf Over Medical Cannabis

Channeling Harry J. Anslinger….

It is hard to know which is worse, ignorance or dishonesty? I can’t ascribe either specifically when it comes to the agitprop of Florida’s so-called drug czar Bruce Grant, but his anti-medical cannabis rant published recently in the Orlando Sentinel wins the distinction of being the first in an ingoing series entitled NORML’s Reefer Madness Du Jour, which serve as 1) peeks into and observations of those who still support the practice of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating cannabis consumers; 2) trying to understand and expose the motivations of those who seek to deny sick, dying and sense-threatened medical patients who possess a physician’s recommendation to use cannabis; 3) shedding light on those who deny American farmers the ability to cultivate and prosper from the cultivation of industrial hemp, just like hemp farmers from Canada, France, China, Russia, etc…
It is no surprise to any casual observer of cannabis law reform that the politically-appointed position of ‘Director of Drug Control Policy’, largely a symbolic government job, in the current epoch of modern American politics, notably in red state-leaning Florida, will be against ‘drugs’ (interestingly, these so-called drug czars rarely rail against the three most deadly and addicting ‘drugs’: alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals).
But what makes czar Grant’s full-throated rant against medical cannabis standout is the vacuousness in his effort to mislead the citizens of Florida.

Medical Marijuana Would Multiply Misery Of Abuse
The push is on to add medical marijuana to the ballot. This proposal would make the use of cannabis for medical purposes legal in Florida.

It seems that every few years vocal marijuana-interest groups seek a way to normalize their drug of choice for the rest of us. Maybe they’ve forgotten the terrible human toll exacted by drug abuse.
We have to look no further than our own friends and families, addiction-treatment centers and local hospitals to see the tragic consequences these substances visit upon human beings. The misery would only be compounded should medical marijuana be allowed.
Smoked marijuana is not medicine. Pot smoke contains more carcinogens than cigarette smoke and is simply not healthy for you.
In short, inhaling toxic chemicals and carcinogens from the burning of a crude weed is not recommended by any reputable medical authority.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration routinely tests new drugs according to a rigorous protocol to prove their safety before they are allowed to be sold to the public as medicine. Marijuana has passed no such test.
Is there potential use for some form of cannabis in medicine? Sure. The American Medical Association recently recognized limited therapeutic benefits of marijuana — specifically, pain reduction and appetite improvement — in certain patients and has called for further research to look into the development of cannabinoid-based medicines and alternate-delivery systems.
If this research shows promise, scientists will then be able to isolate the therapeutic chemicals, have them tested and approved by the FDA, and finally packaged in a synthetic form as medicine, much like was done with Marinol some years ago.
These are possibilities for the future, but right now neither the AMA nor any competent medical authority in this country has yet endorsed marijuana as medicine.
Considering our national obsession with the health consequences of high cholesterol, trans fats, obesity and second-hand tobacco smoke, why would we now seek to legitimize and encourage the use of a carcinogenic substance?
Let’s look at the California experiment that began in 1996: People in that state have been using medical marijuana as a convenient cover for the illegal recreational use of the drug. Initially prescribed to alleviate nausea and loss of appetite associated with treatments for cancer and HIV, medical cannabis is now widely prescribed for ailments such as headaches, back pains, insomnia and even ingrown toenails.
In one clinic in San Diego in 2006, the Drug Enforcement Administration reported that only 2 percent of the patients received their prescriptions for serious conditions like AIDS and cancer, while the other 98 percent received marijuana to treat back spasms, headaches, anxiety and other such maladies. Is this the kind of “medicine” we want in Florida?
The case for medical marijuana is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The true agenda behind the rhetoric is full legalization. Smoking marijuana as a medical treatment empowers marijuana-interest groups to achieve their ultimate goal of marketing this intoxicating substance to the entire population — sick or not.
Legalization would most certainly lead to abuse by an even greater number of youth and adults than seen today. Ask any addict undergoing treatment whether or not marijuana should be legalized, and you will get a resounding “no.”
Why? Because between alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, we already have enough problems with substance abuse. Drug abuse inflicts staggering monetary costs reflected in crime, incarceration, property damage and adverse health outcomes. Even worse is the cost in lost human lives.
Marijuana would embolden those who would use the plight of the sick as a clever subterfuge for drug legalization with tragic ramifications for our citizens. We support medical progress and relieving pain in the sick and dying, but allowing medical marijuana would cost us all more than we can pay.
Bruce Grant is director of the Florida Office of Drug Control.

OK…where to begin?
First, right out of the gate, the threat of medical cannabis being foisted onto the unknowing and easily manipulated citizens of Florida by crazed cannabis activists.
Second, medical cannabis is a mean-spirited ruse for legalization.
Threat #2…Grant implies cannabis places citizens into drug addiction centers and hospitals. Is this true? Doesn’t alcohol, pills and tobacco products put consumers in some jeopardy for the need of addiction or medical treatments. Maybe czar Grant has never visited an emergency room on Saturday nights after midnight…
Despite the fact that 14 states recognize cannabis as a medicine (where 90 million Americans reside), and arguably now so does the federal government under the Obama administration post a well-publicized DOJ memo this past October, and that there are thousands of supportive and affirming scientific studies published indicating cannabis’ safety and utility as a medicine, czar Grant (who is not a medical doctor, rather a career military and anti-drug officer) flatly declares: There is no such thing as medical cannabis. Period.
One wonders if Alice in Wonderland is czar Grant’s favorite book and inspiration for informed policy-making?Bruce_Grant
Czar Grant seeks a fig leaf to hide behind when claiming that the FDA has not approved medical cannabis. Has the FDA actually tested medical cannabis? No. Has the FDA been abused by anti-cannabis politicians to produce position papers against cannabis? Yes. Ironically released by the ONDCP and Bush 2.0 administration in conjunction with NORML’s 36th annual national conference.
In short, inhaling toxic chemicals and carcinogens from the burning of a crude weed is not recommended by any reputable medical authority.
These are possibilities for the future, but right now neither the AMA nor any competent medical authority in this country has yet endorsed marijuana as medicine.
Czar grant just outright lies when he asserts that no reputable medical organization supports patient access to whole-smoked cannabis when there are hundreds of reputable medical organizations that do, including the American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association, AIDS Action Council, American Academy of Family Physicians and The British Medical Association, etc…robbed of their historic, institutional opposition to cannabis, czar Grant even has to soft pedal the American Medical Association’s new direction on medical cannabis’ medical utility.
Czar Grant dangles the false promise (and proven marketplace loser) of 100% pure THC pills like Marinol being superior to natural cannabis.
A favorite prohibitionist canard to employ, as Grant does, is the one that asserts ‘in a world where deadly and addicting drugs like alcohol and tobacco are legal, me-oh-my, why would we want to legalize another drug like cannabis?’
The simple retorts are:
-The failure of cannabis prohibition for 73-years does nothing to actually control the use of the drug;
-Cannabis is already so popular it is not clear at all that taxing it will increase the use of it. In states that have medical cannabis laws and/or decriminalized cannabis there has been no discernible increase in the use of the herb by children or adults;
-Cannabis, despite it’s long illegality is a top five cash crop in America, the drug is readily purchased on most any street and children in government surveys acknowledge greater access to untaxed/unregulated cannabis than taxed and controlled drugs like alcohol and tobacco products.
Czar Grant then goes on to commit a damning blood libel by labeling all medical cannabis consumers in California as frauds. His proof: He cites a recent anti-medical cannabis white paper created by the California Chiefs Of Police Association, which was written and published for the purpose of propagandizing for anti-cannabis activists, law enforcement and opinion-makers in the media.
If one employed Grant’s prohibitionistic thinking, if a youth illegally purchased a bottle of beer or  prescription pills, then the government should ban alcohol and pharmaceuticals and criminalize the behavior.
The fact is that tens of millions of citizens–in states like CA, CO, OR, NM, WA–safely and responsibly use medical cannabis everyday with their physician’s recommendation with little-to-no-harm to the individual patient, their city, state and society.
Czar Grant may want to take note that states like NM, RI, ME and now NJ (and the District of Columbia) are issuing state licenses to medical cannabis cultivators and distributors, therefore it can be stated that cannabis is a safe medicine, that is why the states are allowing its use and sales.
If cannabis was the problem and health threat czar Grant claims, why would every single candidate from the Democratic party in the 2008 presidential election, including now President Obama, support lawful access to medical cannabis?
If cannabis truly were deadly and dangerous why would voters massively favor reform in the voting booth and state legislators pass and governors sign these measures into law? Because they favor their own deaths and illness? Do the politicians who support medical access to cannabis want to sow death, disease and drug addiction to their very own voting constituents?
How logical and based in reality is czar Grant’s mentality regarding cannabis?
We support medical progress and relieving pain in the sick and dying, but allowing medical marijuana would cost us all more than we can pay.
I don’t know who the ‘we‘ is in czar Grant’s absurd claim as a vast majority of Americans do in fact support medical access to cannabis. When given the opportunity to directly vote on the matter of medical access to cannabis, only once since 1992 have cannabis law reformers not prevailed at the ballot box (South Dakota, 2006, where reformers lost 51%-48%; prevailing in AK, WA, OR, CA, AZ, NV, CO, MT, MI and ME).
If Grant and other prohibitionist really care about the health and welfare of their fellow Floridians, they should do the two following things:
-Read NORML’s Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids – A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature, 2000 — 2009;

-Get into a car, head Ft. Lauderdale way and look up stockbroker and one of five federally-licensed medical cannabis patients in the United States Irvin Rosenfeld. Irv receives over 300 complimentary pre-rolled cannabis ‘joints’ every month grown at NIDA’s University of Mississippi cannabis farm, rolled en mass at a secret facility at the Research Triangle Institute in NC and escorted by US Marshals to a DEA-certified pharmacy. The man smokes about 10-12 large joints a day, is a successful stockbroker, sailboat racer, community volunteer and high taxpayer.
I guess in czar Grant’s world Mr. Rosenfeld should suffer in silence and not be an active, productive, fully-engaged-in-life medical patient who consumes cannabis prescribed by his physician.
Of course, anti-cannabis guest columns have been penned in the mainstream media by dozens of political appointees against any modicum of cannabis law reforms since the early 1990s.
How has that worked so far for them?
Does Grant believe the results will be any different in Florida regardless of his shallow and ill-informed cry of wolf?

0 thoughts

  1. Ryan… I know what you mean… I’ve been burning for 46 years and have yet to have a side effect… I just laugh when I watch TV and hear all the side effect warnings at the end of drug company ads… just think… if the fascist right had not trampled us into the ground in the ’60’s look where we’d be on conservation, solar power, etc… we can all be happy knowing we were right, yet we still suffer as they wallow in their greed…

  2. # 50 = You got that right . This is why they are suggesting lumping in Marijuana sales with alcohol sales or in liquor stores . Alcohol is a ” hard ” even deadly drug . There is no similarity . This does not make any sense .
    Next ; Fried fish with ice cream .

  3. More propoganda from the siamese twin that is the debate between the prohibitionists and the medical pot smokers and especially the folks charging black market prices at the legal dispensaries.
    Get real folks. Even simple decriminalization will destroy the medical marijuana dispensaries and the doctor’s license to get high. Even better would be complete legalization. During the prohibition of alcohol, you could also get a doctor’s license to get drunk.
    “Another interesting provision to prohibition was that alcohol was available via a physician’s prescription. For centuries liquor had been used for medicinal purposes, in fact many of the liqueurs we know today were first developed as miracle cures for various ailments. Despite the fact that in 1916 whiskey and brandy were removed from The Pharmacopeia of the United States of America and in 1917 the American Medical Association stated that alcohol “…use in therapeutics as a tonic or stimulant or for food has no scientific value…” and voted in support of prohibition, there was still a belief in liquor’s medicinal benefits among many.
    Because of this established belief that liquor could cure and prevent a variety of ailments, doctors were still able to prescribe liquor to patients on a specially designed government prescription form that could be filled at any pharmacy. When medicinal whiskey stocks were low the government would increase its production. A significant amount of the prescription alcohol supplies were diverted from their intended destinations by bootleggers and corrupt individuals during prohibition.”
    End the Drug War and crush the black market. Free the Weed!

  4. I’m really not too worried about people like this. hes like an old horse with a broken leg, eventually the farmer is going to take him out behind the barn and put him out of his misery. It’s like all old politicians. In time, when the younger generation takes the reigns, we’ll see a dramatic increase in support doubling or even tripling over night. So let the closed minded fear us and cry out against us. it wont be long before they are silenced.

  5. When the majority of Americans wake up and realize that the whole world is being munipulated by big business, then and only then will prohibition truly end. Nobody would tell such obvious lies without a good reason. Very sinister plans are being carried out on mankind by the most rich and powerful people in the world. When the law of tyranny ends, so will marijuana prohibition.

  6. We need more NORML support down here. PUFMM is such a small organization and has only a small fraction of the petition signatures needed.
    I am a Floridian. I live in Tampa. I have seen the harsh reality of the pill problem we have down here. One friend who started on xanax in high school is now shooting up roxys. Another started on roxys but couldnt afford them, got on methodone, and died within two weeks of getting involved with the pill scene.
    Not only that, but Florida does seem to have some of the harsher penalties on cannabis. NOT TO MENTION the very strong DEA presence down here.
    So NORML, as well as Floridian NORML supporters, find a way to help. I dont know what else to say…. i guess that it just seems (from a third person perspective) that the organization applies more focus to their headquaters where medical cannabis is already legal rather than try to assist the other states that still need help in the movement.
    [Editor’s note: Freedom comes to those who work for it…Floridians need to better organize for cannabis law reform among like-minded Floridians and stop bellyaching about others not procuring your freedom for you.]

  7. Grant should go have a few more drinks so he can finish off his “wet brain,” possibly the source of his delusional, illogical, fantasy based thinking. He should also mind his own business and re-read the Constitution of the United States. How would Grant like it if someone else tried to run his life in violation of his inalienable, God-given rights? Grant might best serve his fellow man by keeping his mouth shut until he has something worth saying. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Grant clearly lives in La La Land.

  8. If NORML would mention this on the front page, I’m sure the number of signatures would skyrocket. Sadly, they refuse to do it.
    [Editor’s note: Placing an advertisement on NORML’s frontpage for a barely organized and under capitalized initiative in a state where it will cost millions of dollars, involving hundreds of volunteers, is not going to substantively aid the effort of a few dedicated but impoverished signature gatherers.
    Why is it that citizens in states like HI, AK, MA, ME, VT, MI, NM, etc….the citizens can effectively change their laws but Floridians oddly and consistently look to others, in other states, for their financial resources and freedom?
    Freedom and the cash to help procure it is not manna from heaven (or Washington, DC), it is achieved by those that organize and rally for it.]

  9. i am a resedent in south florida and i would love to see people get there needed meds more than anything our laws here are bullshit i know a lady who has cancer she goes to kemo and after her kemo she gets very sick i help this lady out out of the goodness of my heart to get the med’s she needs i would love to see it down here for her and others she is keeping up her fight thank’s to the marijuana i hope this fucktard gets a life and stops fucking with sick people who need the marijuana let’s see what happen’s…ty norml for keeping up the good fight!!!

  10. re;
    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration routinely tests new drugs according to a rigorous protocol to prove their safety before they are allowed to be sold to the public as medicine. Marijuana has passed no such test.”
    –as far as i know, neither has…
    olive oil,
    orange juice,
    fish oil,
    ETC. !!!
    this is where we should be looking for a comparison
    of medical efficacy, and proper regulation.
    or even parity with coffee, as coffee is also a
    “mind or mood altering substance”

  11. With all of the retired people in FL you’d think that the czar would think of them first? I guess he’s more concerned with his job. Typical.
    Medical Cannabis in FL would be like the movie Cocoon and give the seniors much needed relief! WTF is wrong with that?

  12. FUCKEM!

  13. I’ve been a paramedic in south Florida for over 15 years and I have personally seen the devastating effects of legal drugs in our society…particularly prescription pills. In my entire career, I have never responded to a call for a medical problem related to marijuana. It’s so easy to go to any of the local doctors or hundreds of pain clinics to obtain prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers…where are the opponents to this mess? On another note, I think it is a HUGE mistake for pro-marijuana organizations to continue to go along with the prohibitionists and label marijuana as a drug. If we are trying to educate America that it is a safe “drug” or “narcotic.” This is only going to make the campaign to legalize it more difficult.

  14. Floridians, go to this website and print as many petitions as you can. Send them door to door, pas them out, leave them with supporting businesses and give them to friends.
    Push for legal medical marijuana rights, and encourage those who don’t think voting matters, that it does matter. This topic will help single-handedly get a majority of the voters voting again, who have not voted before or have stopped trying. We are the majority, and we rule. You know there are others willing and able, they just don’t know… Let them know.
    Don’t let this guy dictate the next ten years of the “new drug war”, which only Florida seems to be fighting. He will ensure that your kids play-mates and every other friend you have, are all registered criminals… the ones that are still alive after the gun-blazing raids in your local neighborhoods. We all make less than him, so we are the infection to the state. He has done everything except call us stupid morons to our faces directly, and his qualifications for his job don’t even exist.
    He is an underqualified glorified pretend-hero, pushing extremist religion into the threads of the legal blanket that should be protecting us from the cold-hearted killers that he is supporting. He is not supporting us, he is supporting the cartel, the mafia, other politicians, drug companies who want to manufacture synthetic drugs to kill us, and himself.
    This is yet-another brilliant idea of Charles Crist, and I hope there is a God, an he has a sense of humor for the voters of this social killer.
    His idea of change is the stuff in your pockets, and he wants that more than anything.

  15. The war on drugs is just like the war on terror, they are wars created by bankers and wars force governments to borrow lots of $$ with interest. Imagine starting a war that never ends all the profit you could make if you were as greedy as these guys are. They try to manipulate the public with guys like this idiot. The war on drugs is the Global Elite’s cash cow and they most likely won’t end it soon, but we can. People are starting to wake up, that’s a start. Fortunately the amount of people who worship guys like this Grant wanker is starting to decline. The facts about smoking pot just don’t add up to the claims these goons are making. The public is starting to realize that. Get off the stage Grant!

  16. i have a question for the braintrust at NORML. in which states would it be possible for a petition for complete legalization be able to be placed on the ballot to be voted on without the legislature or the governor (as in minnesota) being able to interfere and change the will of the voters and the petition. for each state that it would be possible, how many signatures would it require for the petition to be placed on the ballot in that state. while it seems we have made progress, the fact that NJ was able to keep control of the money and the marijuana isn’t a win.i for one vote for complete legalization, and i don’t want any limitations or exorbant taxes, and control is all the legislatives are after. we will never have the truth or the justice if the lawyers and politicians are allowed to control the legislative process. how to take back what has been stolen by lies and propaganda. by petition for complete legalization, without taxes?
    [Editor’s note — States with initiatives: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, DC, FL, ID, IL, ME, MA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OH, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA and WY]

  17. this is too funny! got this from our governors website… he is an idiot too..
    Welcome to the Office of Drug Control
    The Florida Office of Drug Control, located within the Executive Office of the Governor, collaborates with the Office of Planning and Budget to implement a statewide strategy that utilizes a three-pronged approach of
    Prevention, Treatment, and Law Enforcement
    to limit the devastation of substance abuse in Florida’s diverse communities.
    The mission of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control and the Statewide Drug Policy Advisory Council is to establish and institutionalize statewide drug control policy-making based on a process of long-range planning, information gathering, strategic decision-making, continuous oversight, and inter-agency coordinated funding.
    This strategy is the most far-reaching initiative in the history of Florida’s efforts to combat the devastation of substance abuse.
    Bruce D. Grant, Director
    850 / 488-9557
    850 / 922-2894 (fax)
    they are not doing to much in the information gathering department. they certainly have not done their homework or any kind of studying on marijuana.

  18. I clicked the link to the california police chief’s pdf file about the decriminalization of marijuana and read through it. I don’t understand how people don’t question it given the fact that they only put statements, but not actual numbers or any references to studies done.
    It’s also clearly lies, as they try in the opening paragraph to establish that marijuana causes lung cancer, which marijuana has not only proven not to, but perhaps even provide a protective effect. Also, I love how my school growing up taught me that the re-legalization of booze is what drove out organized crime, yet for some reason they suggest that doing the same for marijuana would have an opposite, more damaging effect. My favorite though is the horrible logic statement the opponents of legalization have been using: booze and tobacco are bad enough for society and kill 100,000 and 400,000 people a year respectively…yet fail to mention not one death has ever been attributed to marijuana.

  19. Although cannabis was a medicinal plant for thousands of years, its medical use was suppressed and banned throughout most of the 20th century in the US. During this time, major scientific breakthroughs were made in Israel, Spain, Italy and Brazil. These breakthroughs are propelling the natural plant compounds called cannabinoids into the “wonder drugs of the 21st century”.
    14 states have already legalized medicinal cannabis.
    More on this topic…
    Jeffrey Dach MD

  20. who is the guy in the wheelchair in the senate?he is so old he scares me just too look at he making rules for me too live by?i hope not.thing are different now.he should be left wife was behind a guy in a store and it cost 17 bucks for two packs of cigs.i will stick with reefer.

  21. There are none so blind who will not see….especially if they are programmed to behave in that fashion. If he were pro-Medical Marijuana he would not have gotten the dummy-job!

  22. Your rebuttal against any anti-cannabis arguments on this site is superb and very well thought out. Keep up the good work, we’ll educate people one at a time. =]

  23. Re: COMMENT #8
    “Editor’s note: You’re certainly correct regarding some of the benefits of vaporization over smoking, however the federal medical cannabis patients are not supposed to change or alter the delivery system, they also can’t supplement their otherwise low potency government freeze-dried cannabis with market quality medicinal grade cannabis without threat of being thrown out of HHH’s Compassionate Individual New Drug Program.”
    This raised interesting First Amendment rights!
    1. If Mr. Rosenfeld were shown in a published picture sucking from a long-stemmed one-hitter or vaporizer, with a slightly shortened hot burning overdose NIDA cigarette lying on the desk in front of him– would he be prosecuted or deprived of his allowance as a result of such publication?
    2. What if no picture were published, or other proof of healthful changes in administration method, but Mr. Rosenfeld openly admitted that he tears a 25-mg. serving off the tip of the cigarette and smokes a single toke, followed by another, etc., advocating such behavior for other patients?
    3. Would Mr. Rosenfeld, after each toke, be allowed to breathe 30 warm wet W’s in and out of a closed container (such as a lunch bag) to protect his trachea against smoking-related dryness?

  24. I wonder what the gov cannabis would test out at? It would be nice if someone would actualy test this stuff, which I have never read anything good about. It appears that it doesn’t get you “High” at all. They seem to have removed the THC from it. These idiots don’t realize that the THC may be one of the main compounds need for the plant to work at full efficiency.

  25. Florida is a JOKE!!! The weathers nice but they make you not want to go out cause all the pill heads! I own a company any have so many people that cant pass there piss test cause of pills. i wont say anything about the pot cause them boys work and the pill heads suck! i understand why florida wants to be the PILL MILL cause there a whole lot of $money$ in that and they like to kill all the young and old people! florida is also called “DR.SHOPPER”. There all dumb up there in tally. there all about sucking there partys off! they should take notes from the other 14 states that are smarting up! I love how to someone i know who was shot and almost killed his killer is getting out and only spent 13 years in jail cause theres people getting busted for pot and they have to make room for them cause there so bad! This is why i wish i didnt have to pay taxes cause they dont go to anything i would ever like!

  26. we all need to realize,how important every living plant life is very important when it comes to the well fare of all the people and their needs,it goes way beyond being’HIGH’ OR STONE’that most common sence,it is not common after all.rather…not a good news,when it comes to natural of this planet,and completely understand who was here on earth first,and what was it’s purpose and reason to analize our own planet and become more of a creative man or woman,and let nature and the right moments to give evveryone,good natural,needfull,and a big and shade from our plants.we really don’t understand who was here first,on this planet.any little change to our planet,causes mayor storms and earth quacks and man more,because we aren’t wise to let the earth breath it’s natural tress and insects,to keep our lanet in better conditions and situations,we are so small.and selfish.we need to analize thos whole situations,it belongs to nature and it’s purpose.

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