Is there a marijuana problem here?
It depends on who is defining the problem.
In the 1987 movie Good Morning Vietnam, the main character, Adrian Cronauer (played the late, great Robin Williams), asked on his radio show “Speaking of things controversial, is it true there’s a marijuana problem here in Vietnam?” He replied in a different voice, “No, it’s not a problem. Everybody has it.”
The Vietnam War further politicized the topic of marijuana, but that wasn’t new at all. The work of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) began in 1930. The agency was formed by the Department of Treasury (yes, you read that correctly - collecting taxes after the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 was the impetus) and that’s where it all started.
Do we know that cannabis is the most commonly used illicit substance in the world? Yes.
Do we know that cannabis was the second most common substance used by troops in the Vietnam War? Yes. (John Steinbeck IV's 1968 written commentary "The Importance of Being Stoned in Vietnam" sheds light on the experiences of soldiers and drug use during the Vietnam War.)
Do we know that there have been numerous inquiries and reports tackled by the American government that investigated the use of cannabis and its effects? Yes.
Do we know that the last century of cannabis messaging and prohibition have been in direct contradiction to the conclusive reports associated with cannabis use and the Panama Canal, the Vietnam War, and other investigatory efforts? Yes.
Do we know that there is significant evidence that indicates that cannabis helps with PTSD, especially as it pertains to our troops? Yes.
But. Cannabis remains a federally-prohibited, Schedule 1 substance, which means that it’s been determined to have no medical value.
The Schedule 1 categorization and the continued prohibition has nothing to do with the plant. It’s politics that fuels policy and policy that fuels politics.
Contact Elucidation Strategies for cannabis consulting services.