Last week our own Jason Sander wrote a piece about recent remarks made by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams in which Adams expressed support for allowing for research on cannabis, laying the blame for a delay of such research at the feet of marijuana’s placement on the schedules of the Controlled Substances Act.

At odds with these positive sentiments are remarks Adams made recently at a question and answer session sponsored by The Washington Post. To be fair, in the above-linked piece Adams is commenting on a matter of policy, whereas below he is expressing his thoughts on the efficacy and health aspects of cannabis.

“The marijuana question is a little bit too complicated to unpack in this setting,” Adams said before proceeding to make several broad and untrue generalizations about marijuana and its effects. “It’s important that we understand that’s there’s a difference between the discussion of the medicinal properties of marijuana,” he continued, before pausing to interject this gem: “I don’t say medical marijuana because there’s no such thing as medical marijuana, any more than there’s a such thing as medical poppy.”

Poppy is a reference to the plant that both heroin and opioid medications are derived from. He seems to be saying that medicine can only be derived from marijuana, as opposed to marijuana itself being medical. Meaning he believes that say, smoking a joint or a bowl has no medical effects.

There are no words I can use to adequately describe how false this way of thinking is. Every day on this planet millions of people use marijuana itself to lead better and more productive lives; to relieve ailments and in many cases have a quality of life only dreamed of before marijuana.

For someone in a position of authority to sit on a stage and have the nerve to tell these people that there is “no such thing as medical marijuana” is grossly offensive and terribly short-sighted for the top medical official in the U.S government.

Adams went on to say that although marijuana policy needs to be looked at, he also claimed that “we know” that “marijuana primes the brain for further addiction.” This type of fear-mongering would not be surprising coming from someone like Kevin Sabet, for this utter ignorance to come from the Surgeon General is something else entirely.

Ignorance is not something shaken easily. What is drummed into our heads when we are children can become almost impossible to dislodge when we become adults. The best time to brainwash someone is to do it before they are old enough to think for themselves.