In the early 1970s, the U.S. government passed the Controlled Substances Act. The act classified drugs into a “schedule.” Heroin and pot are Schedule 1 drugs. That indicates the drug has no medical use and is highly addictive. Morphine and opium are Schedule 2. Schedule 2 drugs are nasty, but they do have a medical use.

I grew up seeing people smoke pot, then used it myself. I know it happens, but I personally have never known anyone physically addicted to cannabis.

In the last decade, several states legalized marijuana for medical use. An abundance of anecdotal evidence shows it relieves many physical and emotional conditions. The evidence is anecdotal because you can’t do clinical trials with pot: It’s a Schedule 1 drug, with no medical use.

It comes down to trust. If the U.S. government keeps telling school kids that pot and heroin are equally useless medically, kids will keep disregarding the U.S. government because it clearly lies to them. They get a little older, try pot and see it’s not even as bad as alcohol. They are more in control on pot and don’t get sick. Why wouldn’t they think opiates would be the same?

The U.S. government is telling them it’s the same as heroin. Sadly, heroin can hook you after a single use. You don’t get a lot of chances to figure out that the U.S. government isn’t lying about heroin. Kids don’t know that laws are more about money and politics than morals. They don’t know that the enormous bureaucracy of our federal government throws common sense out the window.

We need to be straight with them about opiates and marijuana, or they will continue to disregard our warning. Anyone raising children knows that once you lose your credibility with them, it’s a problem.

Thomas Haight

Cumberland Foreside