(cross-posted @ FreedomDemocrats.com)
Dennis Hastert, Republican Representative from Illinois, wrote a letter to the editors of the Chicago Sun Times saying:
There is absolutely no sound scientific evidence that marijuana has any medicinal value. The Food and Drug Administration is the only agency that can designate a substance as a medicine and to date has not done so.
Of course, that’s total bullshit. The FDA hardly has a solid track record when it comes to substances we all put into our body. Clearly Hastert doesn’t understand how the world of science works. Unlike our Presidents view of the world, everything in science isn’t decided by some kind of authoritarian body that slams it’s gavel down expecting the myriad masses to follow suit simply because the “decider” has spoken.
Instead, Science is a battle ground where scientists are constantly at war with one another over the tiniest of details that all add up to what we would call a body of knowledge. If the FDA hasn’t said anything about a subject, that hardly means there isn’t solid information on the topic in the world of science at large.
But most of us know that. We’ve taken science classes where we learned about things like the scientific method, academic honesty, etc (along with, gasp, evolution and natural selection). He is, and other among the right wing are, scrabbling because little by little the tide on this issue has been turning. And it’s becoming harder and harder to keep a drug illegal when it is Far less harmful than it’s legal counterpart (alcohol).
There is actually ample evidence that Marijuana has medicinal value (check out this Government-Funded study), but that isn’t even the point. It’s hypocritical and illogical to have Marijuana illegal when Alcohol isn’t. Marijuana is not the gateway drug many would believe it to be (due to a lack of understanding between the very real difference between Correlation and Causation). Alcohol is a major catalyst of violent crime, domestic abuse, rape and assault, etc, whereas Marijuana is not at all. And the “Drug War” is clearly a massive failure.
In short, Hastert is clueless. But, his letter is a telling sign that we might be getting closer to a (slightly more) reasonable drug policy.