Schedule I is a fully prohibited drug class in the U.S. that consists of substances with a high potential for abuse, zero medical value and risks so high that safe use is not possible even under medical supervision. The traditionally anti-cannabis National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists the dangers of cannabis as follows: mood changes, impaired body movement, problem-solving difficulties, impaired memory, an altered sense of time, lung irritation, increased heart rate and temporary paranoia (though noticeably not lethal overdoses or physical addiction). Classifying cannabis and non-psychoactive CBD oil as Schedule I defies logic, especially after comparing their side effects to those associated with prescription drugs in less restrictive schedules or unscheduled altogether. Cannabis does not produce any of the side effects listed below for drugs the government claims are safer, medically valuable and less prone for abuse.
2. Nausea, vomiting, itching, constipation, hypoxia-related brain damage, liver damage, abdominal distention, severe physical addiction (often leading to heroin use), respiratory depression, hyperalgesia, immunologic dysfunction, hormonal dysfunction, myoclonus and muscle rigidity. Opioid pain relievers like hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., Percocet) and morphine (Schedule II).
3. Gastrointestinal tears, severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, opioid withdrawal symptoms, headaches, muscle spasms, chills, tremors, ferocious farting, excessive sweating and rhinorrhea (it's a thing: think diarrhea of the nose). Relistor, an anti-constipation drug for people who take lots of opioids (unscheduled).
4. Stopping use too quickly can produce potentially fatal grand mal seizures. Benzodiazepine sedatives (Schedule IV).
5. Vision loss, hearing loss, irregular heartbeat, swelling, headaches, back pain, muscular pain, chest pain, diarrhea, rash, nausea and dizziness. The boner pill Viagra (unscheduled).
6. Depression, insomnia, crying spells, aggression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, blurry vision, severe headaches, vomiting, hearing loss, dark urine, jaundice, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, purple skin spots, bone fractures and convulsions. The acne medication Accutane (unscheduled).
7. Hallucinations, twitching, nausea, fever, bloody urine, body swelling, decreased sex drive, amnesia and the loss of bladder control (e.g., you piss your pants). The prescription drug Mirapex used to treat restless leg syndrome, among other conditions (unscheduled).
8. Paradoxical reactions such as a sudden spike in hostility, impulsivity and rage that can motivate violence, rape and murder. Benzodiazepine sedatives (Schedule IV).
9. Paranoia, hair loss, impotence, orgasm impairment, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, dizziness, headaches, insomnia, blurred vision, agitation, anxiety, irritability, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea and physical addiction. Amphetamines like Adderall (Schedule II).
10. Chest pain, pounding heartbeat, hallucinations, insomnia, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, impotence, fainting and physical addiction. The opioid-addiction recovery drug methadone (Schedule II).
11. Potentially fatal central nervous system (CNS) depression due to overuse or polydrug use (i.e., an overdose). Heroin (Schedule I); amphetamines, opioids, cocaine and methylphenidate like Ritalin (Schedule II); >90mg codeine medication (Schedule III); benzodiazepine, Z-drugs and the previously unscheduled carisoprodol and Soma (Schedule IV); alcohol and antidepressants (unscheduled).
To the cherry atop this shit sundae, prescription medication now kills more people each year than street drugs like heroin, crack and meth, while no deaths can occur by simply consuming cannabis.
David Jenison (email@example.com) is Editor-in-Chief at PRØHBTD.