Should the DEA raid Starbucks?

This will wake you up more than coffee...
This will wake you up more than coffee...

Prominent addictionologists Drs. Henningfield and Benowitz, ranked six common recreational drugs by dependency risk. We know from their work that the dependency risk of coffee is greater than cannabis. While no one has ever died from an overdose of cannabis, deaths from caffeine do occur, such as a recent coffee overdose in New Zealand and another in South Carolina. The South Carolina death was attributed to a "caffeine induced cardiac event causing a probable arrhythmia."

So, is it time for a DEA raid on Starbucks? Or, maybe we have this drug thing all confused.

Side effects of caffeine include increased heartbeat, muscle tremors, upset stomach, nervousness, irritability, restlessness and migraine. These effects commonly occur only after an individual has consumed more than 250 mg of caffeine (about 2.5 cups of coffee).

According to Dr. Robert Glatter, an ER physician at Lennox Hill Hospital in NY, the most common symptoms of excessive caffeine consumption are heart palpitations, dizziness, elevated blood pressure, nervousness and anxiety. Caffeine is found not only in coffee, but tea, cola drinks, chocolate and over-the-counter energy nostrums.

Coffee has a greater dependency risk than cannabis and since no one has ever died from cannabis, but people have died from caffeine, and since Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions has said "Marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized", we are more likely to see a crackdown on a cannabis dispensary than a coffee shop. If AG Sessions believes that is true for cannabis, a substance with a 4,000-year history as a medicine, then it logically follows that he should start shutting down all the caffeine dealers in the country such as Coca Cola, Starbucks, corner stores and Sees Candy. They are all purveyors of the potentially lethal drug, caffeine.

But, we also know the educated use of caffeine is not only safe, but culturally ingrained. Of course it would be absurd for the DEA to raid a Starbucks, but it is equally absurd for them to raid a cannabis dispensary.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS