cannabis and public health

If the US government legalizes cannabis federally, they’ll face the same public health problems Canada did. Namely, busybody bureaucrats demanding to control the nuances of how you consume your cannabis.

It’s like the adage about kids who become lifeguards. Some become lifeguards because they want to help protect and save lives. Others become lifeguards because they want to sit higher than everyone else and yell rules at people.

Most health care professionals are of the former type. They are the ones who save lives, and you never hear from them. They have quiet, small-town practices or are kept busy at a city hospital. 

The latter group goes into public health.

If the US government legalizes cannabis federally, they will face a public health problem. And the cracks are already starting to appear. Every so-called public health expert wants a limit on THC.

THC Limits & Taxes

Cannabis & Public Health

There was a recently published white paper from the University of Southern California’s Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. In other words, it was a white paper written by the intellectual underbelly of public health. They’ve outlined rules they want to see on legal cannabis. This included a limit on the amount of THC allowed in all cannabis products.

The white paper also called for taxing cannabis based on potency than weight or retail price. And, of course, they want a comprehensive tracking system from seed to sale.

A bill introduced in the US Senate calls for decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level and allows states to set their own rules. So far, only Vermont and Connecticut have THC limits.

The US Senate bill also calls for a 25% excise tax on top of the other sales and excise taxes imposed at the state level. This tax essentially guarantees that legacy markets remain consumers’ top preference. It may also bankrupt smaller farms and retailers in the legal states.

One would think public health busybodies would be more concerned with a bill that empowers the legacy market as they have zero control over that market. But, for whatever reason, they’re much more concerned with limiting how much THC American adults can consume.

Even to the point of absurdity.

The Cannabis Industry Has a Public Health Problem

Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center and Elizabeth Garrett Chair in Health Policy, Economics & Law at the USC Price School of Public Policy.

She told Healthline, “It took us decades to understand alcohol and what a standardized drink was. So we should set these caps and wait at least 5 years before we adjust them because it’s going to take some time for the science to come out.”

In other words, we should act now and arbitrarily limit the non-lethal compound that makes cannabis great. We don’t have the science on our side, and we might not in another five years. Still, we should impose our “expert opinion” and have it written into law, punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Or take R. Lorraine Collins, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research in the University at Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions. She says she supports the white paper. Setting THC limits and taxing based on potency is an “excellent start.”

But she’s also cautious about how market players try to undermine public health authority. 

“The cannabis industry is very smart,” she said. “One of the things that they do is if you say you’re going to cap the potency of cannabis flower, they’ll increase the potency in other cannabis products. So the key is to cap THC in ‘all cannabis products.'”

She also said laws must be broad enough to cover future cannabis products. 

No mention of medical patients who need high doses of THC. No mention of medical patients at all. Only healthy adults who need to be treated like children. 

The cannabis industry has a public health problem.

Public Health Busybodies Have No Business Regulating Cannabis

Public Health

According to busybody Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, “A public health approach to cannabis regulation is about incentivizing users in a manner that maximizes benefits and reduces harm.”

But the public health bureaucrats in Canada couldn’t demonstrate harm. They simply asserted it and repeated the lie until the average person believed it. And that seems to be the case in the US, as well.

The only “harm” they can demonstrate conclusively is that if someone consumes a lot of high-THC cannabis, they risk developing “cannabis use disorder.” But what exactly does this prove?

Public health busybodies fear potent cannabis will turn you into an addict. So they’ll interfere with your life to prevent this. There are several problems with this:

a) it is not the business of public health lobbyists what adults do with their bodies on their own time. Psychiatric disorders were a tool used by communist governments to silence dissidents. This may not be the case here, but best to err on the side of caution.

b) an “addict” is not a real thing. People can develop habitual behaviours and strongly ingrained preferences. But high-THC cannabis cannot come to life and force you to consume it. “Cannabis use disorder” is not real.

c) the evidence linking cannabis to psychosis and schizophrenia is haphazard at best and pseudoscience at its worst. Public health bureaucrats have no foundation on which to base their recommendations.

The only risks to young, healthy people regarding cannabis are the destructive narratives that public health puts in their heads.