I would posit that many of our nations drug laws are illegal- and that the government has violated their authority in their control.
While there are numerous issues- this conversation is in regards to their Scheduling. Drugs such as marijuana, lsd, psilocybin, and mdma are all schedule I drugs.
So lets look at the requirements for scheduling drugs, according to the law (The controlled substances act):
Schedule I controlled substances
“Placement on schedules; findings required
Except … The findings required for each of the schedules are as follows:
(1) Schedule I.—
(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”
Now first- Alcohol and Tobacco, two of the most addictive and dangerous substances known to man are conveniently exempted from these requirements. Both would clearly (deservingly so) be schedule I drugs under the governments very criteria that is supposed to regulate drugs.
Now abuse is left undefined. But marijuana, LSD, Psilocybin, and MDMA are either non-addictive, or have a much lower addiction potential then drugs in schedule IV or V.
In the case of marijuana there is a wide body of evidence of its medical uses for numerous conditions, a synthetic version has existed in schedule III for decades, and the government themselves hold patents on the medical use of cannabis, and has issued patents to pharmaceutical companies on medicinal uses. Likewise in recent years the government has approved researchinto the medicinal use of psilocybin amd MDMA for things such as treatment of anxiety in terminal patients and the treatment of PTSD- including in our returning veterans.
Indeed- when the government made MDMA a schedule I drug in 1985- they did so against the recommendation of the scientific pnel tasked to study it, and indeed, against the administrative law judge- both had recommended schedule III. Likewise there was scientific evidence supporting the use of LSD from both Harvard, and the US militaries own experiements in the 60’s.
Oddly enough- it is now easier to get federal approval to do research on the benefits of MDMA and Psilocybin then it is for marijuana.
The evidence is quite clear, and quite disturbing. Many of our drug laws have not been based on science or evidence- as our very laws require. Instead they were based on beliefs or morals all too often by people with no experience with these substances and/or citing falsified evidence.
The drug war has failed, and is largely built on lies. Almost weekly now we are seeing former and current world leaders, drug warriors, drug researchers, scientists… speaking out- that the drug war has been a failure, that many drugs are neither particularly harmful or addictive (David Nutt, at the time the head of the british scientific Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs publicly states a couple years ago that MDMA (ecstasy) was safer then riding a horse. For which he was sacked. And most of the ACMD resigned in protest- forming their own Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD) which published the research they had been working on, ranking drug harms, which found Alcohol to be the most costly drug- in the top 5 with heroin, crack cocaine, and tobacco.
We live in a world where many lives are ruined- not because of the substance a person chooses to put in their body- but because of the draconian laws surrounding it.
As we (should have) learned from the 18th ammendment (prohibition, and the 21st ammendment repealing it- prohibition does not work. Drugs are not a criminal justice issue- it is a personal and public health issue- and should be treated as such.
I highly recommend people check out MAPS: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies , and would also recommendwatching some of thevideos of their Psychedelic Science Conference Videos