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Biden lets public health go up in smoke

Leftists demand that others “follow the science,” but when science and the facts reinforce arguments against their politics, they ignore it. That’s what President Joe Biden is doing with marijuana. He is dangerously sacrificing the facts on the ideological altar of pot pandering. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration, responding to Biden‘s signals, announced on April 30 that it would reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III drug. This means labeling it as less dangerous and probably watering down penalties for its use, which are already largely unenforced.

If the DEA follows through with this plan, it will be acting with wanton disregard for the danger to health so Biden can try to shore up his support among young voters and other marijuana-friendly demographics. After decades of categorizing marijuana as a dangerous drug, it is absurd and cynical to downplay it now that the most recent research — the science — shows it is far more dangerous than people imagined. This is especially true when the average street marijuana is much more potent than it was half a century ago.

We’ve been through this litany many times in recent years. Information from eminently respected, peer-reviewed studies, shows that regular marijuana use impairs cognition — makes people dopey — more significantly than either alcohol or tobacco, seems to shrink the brain’s hippocampus and cause other brain damage, increases depression and suicidality, and boosts the risk of heart attacks by 25% and of strokes by 42%. It repeatedly has been shown to have numerous adverse effects on childhood and adolescent health, and its legalization has led to more car crashes, gang activity, and violent crime.

Despite decades of mythmaking to the contrary, smoking marijuana can be highly addictive, is repeatedly associated with the onset of schizophrenia, and often acts as a “gateway” to opioids and other “hard drugs.” It even has been shown to be dangerous at the genetic level. Despite caterwauling from the “pot cures pain” chorus, even increased “medical” use, unless strictly monitored, “is associated with higher opioid mortality.”

And so on. The evidence is irrefutable. Unlike when “the science” ordered pandemic lockdowns that probably did far more harm than good, marijuana studies rest on hard data, not mere projections.


The DEA knows all this well. But Biden, flailing for political lifelines while sinking in public approval, knows that marijuana advocates care more deeply about their marijuana, or at least do so in higher numbers, than do critics who follow the science. Biden’s minions at the DEA and Justice Department, therefore, are doing his bidding in a cynical ploy for votes, no matter the cost to people’s lives.

This week’s action only initiates the rulemaking process. There is time for public comment. Critics ought to bombard the DEA and Justice Department with arguments against marijuana reclassification. Public policy should trend against greater acceptance of marijuana, not toward it. Believe the science.

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