While an increasing number of Democrats have pledged a stronger allegiance than ever before to the reform of marijuana laws in the United States, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), recently told The New York Times that while she is not opposed to legalizing the leaf for medicinal purposes, she does not see the point in allowing the herb to be bought and sold across the United States in a manner similar to booze and cigarettes.
However, come to find out that Schultz’s disaccord with the Democratic Party’s progressive pot politics likely has more to do with her loyalty to the alcohol industry than some spiritual revelation or conservative morality pose. In fact, many of Shultz’s largest campaign contributors are companies specializing in the alcohol trade, including Bacardi USA, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, Southern Wine and Spirits, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America – donating a total of $18,500 to help Schultz get reelected.
“I just don’t think we should legalize more mind-altering substances if we want to make it less likely that people travel down the path toward using drugs,” Schultz said. “We have had a resurgence of drug use instead of a decline. There is a huge heroin epidemic."
When Times reporter Ana Marie Cox pointed out that Shultz’s home state of Florida, which is considered the pill mill capital of America, has not outlawed prescription painkillers despite the number of deaths caused by accidental overdoses, Schultz simply responded “there is a big difference between opiates and marijuana.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Some of the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 44 people die every day in the United States as a result of a prescription opioid overdose. The reality is prescription drugs are responsible for over half of the drug overdose deaths in the entire nation. Of the 43,982 people who died in 2013 as a result of a fierce addiction to opioids, 22,767 of them were getting their fix from their family physician. And the situation is only getting worse.
"More persons died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record," reads the latest CDC report.
Although Schultz says she believes marijuana has medical benefits, she has been brainwashed by the paid political system to perpetuate reefer madness in a way that keeps popular culture believing that nationwide legalization will contribute to an uprising in addictive behavior -- causing more Americans to experiment with harder drugs, like heroin and methamphetamine.
Unfortunately, what the Florida Congresswoman is quite obviously never going to divulge to her constituents is that alcohol, legal since prohibition was ratified in 1933, is one of the most dangerous gateway drugs available today on the national market. A recent CDC report indicates that 88,000 people die in the Untied States every year from alcohol-related health issues. It goes on to say that “excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years” between 2006 and 2010, with an economic cost of around $249 billion.
Although legal recreational and prescription drugs are responsible for killing tens of thousands of American citizens every year, Uncle Sam still maintains that prohibition is in the interest of health and public safety. Yet, the CDC, an agency of the federal government, admits there has never been a single overdose death stemming from the use of cannabis.
So it seems that Congresswoman Shultz and the entire goddamn slew of politicians resistant to marijuana legalization are simply ignoring the evidence and basing their opinions on decades-old drug war propaganda that has absolutely no basis in science. It is for this reason that marijuana activists have launched a petition calling for Schultz to be replaced by someone who is not “continually opposed to legalization of cannabis, while accepting thousands of dollars in donations from the alcohol industry.”
“Given that cannabis would reduce our prison population, increase tax revenue and remove a valuable asset used by criminal syndicates to increase their finances, this is an issue that effects and impacts all Americans, even if they don't consume the substance,” the petition reads.