With all the 'buzz' in the news about the upcoming election for medical marijuana, We're hearing so much bad science and even worse bogus statistics about marijuana's effect on the individual, the family, and the community.
1. Mentally ill people use it.
Yes they do. They are currently prescribed much more dangerous drugs, too. They also take Methamphetamine (Ritalin). They take highly addictive Benzodiazapines (tranquilizers), psychotropic drugs with potentially fatal contraindications. Smoking pot cannot cause death. You just get too goofy to be able to smoke, then you go take a nap, followed by a strong case of the munchies.
There is a rare and dangerous symptom of paranoia which ingested marijuana can trigger. But smoking marijuana is not nearly as dangerous as eating it.
People who develop generalized Anxiety Disorder need professional help. But sadly they sometimes self-medicate without seeking reliable and competent council. Liquor is the prime drug of choice for anxiety or an even more tragic mental illness called Schizophrenia. Liquor or Marijuana will only mask the underlying problem. With Schizophrenia, it could cause permanent brain damage if a person ignores it and covers it up.
Anxiety, Obsessive/Compulsive, Panic Attacks, or PTSD conditions will need intensive coaching from a mental health professional, to find the therapy & coping skills which eventually provide a drug-free success. But in the interim months, Marijuana is a far safer medication for temporary relief when symptoms become too intense to bear. Responsible & prudent use of Marijuana may help a struggling person stay better focused on their therapy and sometimes it makes the difference between a productive life vs being disabled and relying of govt. assistance or family support.
Two European studies looked into the connection between drug use and mental illness. The Danish study involved the health records of over 1 million citizens. The finding did not establish see evidence that drug use leads to serious mental illness. But certainly brain damage can occur from a drug overdose. Liquor is the biggest drug problem in the USA. Over 1 million Americans are currently physically addicted. There is no science that concludes a physical addiction to Marijuana. It is vastly safer than liquor.
2. Making it legal will cause more medical problems
It will make it more likely that people seek professional assistance. Currently they are dissuaded from seeking help in a medical crisis because of the potential of criminal prosecution. But if the sufferer pays the medical bill, then big deal! Aren't we really trying to avoid socialized medicine? This is an incentive to reform socialism and relaunch free enterprise.
3. Kids might try it.
You mean they don't already? Seriously? The problem is so rampant with the unregulated black market, that regulating it will only help keep some order. No, the black market will not disappear immediately.
There were still 'Moonshiners' after prohibition ended. But the economic model swings against the black market and they go look for better horizons, in time.
Protecting kids from exploitation must be a high priority in any scenario of public policy. But a change in medical marijuana policy will present an opportunity for current law enforcement resources to be moved to the 2 important areas; transportation safety and child protection.
4. Cops have no breathalyzer machine to detect impairment
Cops had a better and more just method for truly detecting driver impairment. They conducted roadside tests of coordination. Who cares what some machine kicks out for a numeric quantifier. We have better tools, today. Old tech impairment tests and new tech dash cams will provide a far more just way of determining who presents a danger on our roadways.
Current technology allows the detection of Marijuana intake over the past 30 days. But it's the immediate past 30 minutes that have the most impairment potential. So cops would do the cause of justice a better good by actually establishing impairment of human coordination & judgment, rather than seeking a number out of a machine.
5. Prohibition works just fine.
My first reaction is; "Are you kidding me?"
Our prison populations have ballooned many times higher, with drug-related convictions leading that explosion. Yet we have not put a dent in the street drug statistics.
Prison sentences are just a way to punish the taxpayer more than anyone else. A 1st offence drug felony can levy a 5 year prison sentence. At $25,000 per inmate per year, what we really did was cost the state $125K to ruin a family, enroll a person in "Criminal College" where they eventually emerge as an ex-con with a felony record. They rarely get a decent job, yet have 5 years of training in criminality from the professional criminal class. They have networking skills with the wrong people. Meanwhile, their kids are 5 years older and grew up without a parent.
In the 1920s, the US experimented with liquor prohibition. The majority repealed it within 13 years. Oklahoma was far more stubborn, insisting on the failed policy until 1959. Liquor was not any worse or better whether we had prohibition or not.
6. CBD Oil is all we need.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a derivative of the Cannabis plant. It is proven effective for several types of epilepsy. It has no potential to cause a mind-altering state and therefor is not considered a danger for impairment.
It also shows effectiveness as an anti-psychotic, and may become a reliable treatment for Bipolar disorder, along with a mood-stabilizing treatment.
But CBD does not provide the wide scale relief for Generalized Anxiety, Panic Disorder, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Many participants in medical studies say that smoking Marijuana does give reliable temporary relief for those suffering acute conditions.
Many suffering the effects of Chemo-therapy report that the nausea and other side effects are diminished by smoking Marijuana.
Currently, Israel is the only nation which authorizes govt. studies of Marijuana. They have data which suggest far more medicinal benefits, including cancer fighting.
7. It's not good for you.
You alone must make the prudent decision of what's "good for you". I can't responsibly know that. Sadly, there are far too many citizens with the arrogant presumption to know what's healthy for you. If you notice, they almost always want you to ascribe to what's good for them.
Is an amusement park good for you? Physically, it has some dangers. And it costs you a lot of money. Many would call that a waste. But your mental health and family cohesion might greatly benefit from that family trip to Six Flags.
The same is true of many other things. Do men really need Viagra? Yet they spend billions on it. Some of them might not otherwise have developed a sexually transmitted disease (STD) had they not had access to Viagra. But health and sociology experts agree that a big part of human contentment is connected to sexuality.
So perhaps they might win this point in some peoples' minds. Do they really want the masses to continue using the far more dangerous drugs being prescribed for serious mental illness?
Our society has long discredited the importance of good mental health. Perhaps that's why we let this prohibition go on this long.
Now that our nation's military heroes are committing suicide at the rate of 1 per hour, maybe we will adjust our drug policy for their sake?