The Drug Enforcement Administration has decided to keep marijuana a Schedule I narcotic, which keeps it among the ranks of heroin, ecstasy and GHB (better known as a date-rape drug).
Having been a crime reporter for the better part of a decade, I take issue.
I am not one of those people who believe marijuana is a wonder drug from the future. Some people probably shouldn't smoke it. It can rob people of their ambition. And please, don't drive.
It won't rob you of your soul, however, like some other drugs can and will do. Being a reporter affords me the opportunity to read a lot of police reports and speak to a lot of police officers, so I think I have some perspective. Here are some worse drugs.
Unfortunately, domestic violence is a serious problem in every community. And 99 percent of the time, the person who beats up his or her (and usually his) significant other has been drinking, not smoking pot, hell, not even freebasing cocaine.
I've never read this: "Suspect had been doing bong rips for most of the day and struck his girlfriend because she accused him of cheating on her."
You can say marijuana is worse than alcohol, which is not even a schedule drug (neither is tobacco). But you're wrong. So let's move on to a sampling of Schedule I drugs that marijuana is apparently as bad as.
A cop once told me that your average street-level heroin dealer is used to getting stopped by the cops frequently; therefore, he will keep his heroin stashed in his ass. Problem: Germs end up on the heroin, which then ends up in the veins and causes abscesses to form at the injection site. Heroin is a Schedule I drug, same as pot.
It's called the date-rape drug for a reason. But I'll never forget that anti-drug commercial in which a boy finds a sleepy, stoned girl on a couch and assaults her in full view of 200 people. Pure horseshit.
A lot of people don't know this, but ecstasy is an amphetamine. It's chemical name is methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It's a way for middle-class people to pretend they aren't taking white-trashey drugs like methamphetamine. And it makes bad club music sound good.
There are other schedule I drugs out there. Bath salts springs to mind. But I think certain Schedule II drugs bear mentioning.
Unscrupulous drug dealers cut it with baby laxative to maximize profits. This will be apparent if you ever have the misfortune to walk in on a group of people all huddled around a mirror set down on a coffee table at 10 a.m.
If "Breaking Bad" didn't paint a bleak enough portrait, allow me to elaborate: All that Heisenberg malarkey aside, methamphetamine — the queen mother of bad drugs — is made illicitly by boiling red phosphorous, iodine and ephedrine and then pumping hydrogen chloride gas through the mixture. Enjoy watching your teeth ballroom dance out of your head.