I am have decided to post this blog, (my first), in an attempt to foster a
Logical Rational Marijuana Discussion.
All over the internet, and throughout this nation's history, cannabis, aka marijuana, has been a complicated issue...
I have heard, but have not touched the document myself, that the Declaration of Independence was written upon hemp paper. That Thomas Jefferson and many of his time likely smoked it, and grew it in vast quantity. They were however PRODUCTIVE.
The arguments for why it should be illegal often contain these key points:
1) Gateway Drug
2) Affects Driving
3) Is Addictive
Now, in all logic and rationality, ANY drug, prescribed or not prescribed could be termed a 'gateway drug'. Also, while I will admit that not all who have tried marijuana stayed with it, as exemplified in many actors and actresses and others in the limelight who ended up in terrible shape, when the public knew they had consumed cannabis, and then at some point went beyond it-
that does not account for the MUCH LARGER percentage of people who choose to consume marijuana, (in spite of this failed 40 years of prohibition, which has not lessened the percentage of people who use it, nor even its availability.) and stayed with it, are by far statistically provable as the GREATER MAJORITY, which clears all but the token reasoning that marijuana is a 'gateway drug'.
Marijuana is perceived as affecting driving, while there are both personal accounts people may tell you, and statistics and studies WHICH HAVE SIGNALLED BOTH EXTREMES of it being bad for, and even in a few studies good for driving (people expected their sensory perception to be off and so drive slower.) I will not argue that people should be able to consume cannabis and drive, nor will I argue they should be able to. I argue that until such time (IF EVER) that testing was accurate,
and individualized, such as consuming a specified amount and passing a cone test, etc. WHILE AFFECTED BY SAID AMOUNT, then there might be some merit to variable laws-
but, again that would be difficult and costly. SO,
my stance is that it should be treated like wine:
-no consumers under age
-no driving while affected
. PERIOD .
Addiction is a complex point, not a mere 'yes or no'.
There are not merely varying degrees of it, but also varying factors.
There is CHEMICAL DEPENDENCE. Some experts would site that anything that was
chemical which a person craved to the point of obvious issue would be an addiction.
I, myself, have seen several people who would get the shakes, literally, until a Coke or Pepsi was available to them, and the shakes only subsided after the pssh of popping it open and the first gulp.
You will also likely know of people addicted to cigarettes who are irritable and uncomfortable without them. Marijuana, while is often craved, is not documented, nor observed by me or anyone I have interviewed as having caused convulsions, shakes or tremors in its absence.
There is also the concept of HABIT FORMING, but habit forming goes even beyond the concept of chemical. There are people, most easily spotted as OCD, who must have everything a certain way to relax, what little they are able. These people for example, might be so accustomed to putting on the right shoe before the left would be unable to put the left shoe on until they found and put on the right shoe. That is MOST CERTAINLY definable as 'habit forming', and in this regard, I would agree marijuana would fall into this category. But, so would coffee in the morning, music to many people, and more. Habits are a routine psychological patterning OUTSIDE OF THE SUBJECT MATTER.
I would argue that marijuana is NOT any more of a 'gateway drug' than any other chemical, cigarettes, alcohol, OTC sinus medication, or doctor prescribed.
I would argue that marijuana should be regulated as wine, with respect to age and roadways.
And I would argue that marijuana is not-addictive. I reference that there is no risk of harm to even a heavy use who quits cold turkey. Unlike alcohol and the other Schedule I intoxicants.
I would put it to you that:
- the prohibition of marijuana has achieved nothing for our society, and has caused all the pain and grief our nation avoided in history, when we wisely repealed the prohibition of alcohol. That is,
the violence and trouble with the business of illicit chemicals, which saw the Tommy-Gunners of the early part of the 20th century (1900s-) all but disappeared when its prohibition was repealed-
they, with the prohibition of marijuana have FLOURISHED, in Mexico, where the ACTUAL
Drug War exists. Instead of America reaping the benefits of the biggest cash crop in California,
we have funneled that money into the hands of the cartels.
Why have we not learned from the past?
Furthermore, I challenge you:
think for yourself.
How bad does it hurt society if an adult man or woman enjoys a glass of wine or a joint in the privacy of their own home?
How much does it cost in potential revenue as well as lives, or fractions thereof, thrown away into prisons for a plant?
In a democracy, where the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is the core of the government,
what percentage of society may be incarcerated and denied what is decreed in our
Declaration of Independence and still be termed a 'free society'?
It is logical to put away from society those that victimize others, and therefore
diminish the freedom or pursuit of happiness for other Americans-
but if they do not harm another, then is it not terrible to remove their freedom for something which
OF ITSELF does not harm society??
I ask you to think.