The DEA has said marijuana is a medicine and has therapeutic benefits. Well, not the DEA. A former Drug Enforcement Agent now sees the error of his ways and is an advocate for medical marijuana. Let’s check out his rationale.
Robert Stutman says he has spent his “professional life on the front lines of America’s drug wars.” Stutman goes on to say he was one of the most prominent special agents of the DEA. Stutman says in his opinion article for The Hill that his change of mind is a result of events both “public and personal”.
Stutman brags that he as, “The first federal drug agent to arrest a student on a college campus for the sale of marijuana.” Dude was doing some serious crime fighting. He should have had a character on the cartoon COPS… “It’s crime fighting time”! Let’s let Stutman speak for himself. He told The Hill, “I supervised the seizure of hundreds of tons of marijuana. In the ’80s and ’90s, leading the New York field office, I spearheaded the agency’s battle against crack. Since then, I have educated schools, physicians and others on substance abuse addiction and prevention.”
The federal Drug Administration maintains cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug in the same category as heroin and crack-cocaine. It has been a Schedule 1 drug since the inception of the Controlled Substance Act of 1971. The DEA maintains that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use” So as states pass laws to legalize marijuana , users remain criminals under federal law.
Ironically, Robert Stutman is faced with this personal dilemma in his own life. He shares, “To treat my back pain, I can legally use opioids, drugs that kill tens of thousands of people a year. Yet, I feel guilty about breaking a federal law against using marijuana, a drug that has never, to my knowledge, caused a fatal overdose. So, it was with a sense of irony and guilt that I recently agreed to my doctor’s suggestion to try medical marijuana. I was suffering from back pain after three back surgeries; the pain was so great that I could hardly walk or sleep. Other medications, including opioids, have not worked. Although, after taking a marijuana extract, the pain disappeared. I got my normal life back.”
Yet, the DEA says marijuana has no medicinal benefits. Will they prosecute Stutman? He also shares, “Let me be clear: I do not think marijuana should be an unregulated recreational drug. It can be harmful, particularly to teenagers and young people whose growing brains and nervous systems can be damaged by its use.” My response to this statement is if he is so concerned about harm and the youth he should fight to prohibit alcohol. As long as America pushes beer during football and basketball games (in the stands and in commercials), yet prohibits marijuana, statements about harm and the youth ring empty and hypocritical.