Today CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, came out and said that he has been wrong about medical marijuana. In part because the federal government has been lying about marijuana's supposed dangers and lack of benefits.
I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."
They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.
Hey, better late than never, Dr. Gupta.
Twenty states already have legalized medical marijuana. Two states have made it legal for all adults. (See this map.) Obviously citizens have managed to learn the truth about marijuana well before a lot of "leaders" who should be better informed.
This is annoyingly common these days. Ordinary people have better sense than the politicians they send off to Washington, D.C. to represent them.
Like Gupta says, it is crazy that marijuana still is classified in the Most Dangerous Drug category. It also is crazy that virtually every Republican in Congress doesn't accept the scientific facts about global warming. Truthiness has replaced truth in many political circles.
Fortunately, the times seem to be a'changing. Bill Maher calls marijiuana the new gay marriage.
"By that, I mean it's the next obvious civil rights issue that needs to fall," he says, before explaining that marijuana advocates must take a page from marriage equality activists and make Mary Jane popular. "Gays simply demanded it" he says. "They didn't care that it wasn't popular. They put it on the agenda and they made it popular."
I'm hoping that Oregon will get its act together and legalize marijiuana in 2014. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act folks have a great chance of succeeding, in part because an initiative to legalize gay marriage almost certainly will be on the ballot.
The 2012 marijuana legalization effort was horribly organized. Yet 46% of Oregonians still voted "yes." With fresh leadership Oregon could become the third state to legalize marijuana, after Colorado and Washingtonl
Next year lots of Oregonians will be crossing the Columbia to buy pot legally in Washington state.
Voters need to be told that this money could be staying in Oregon rather than enriching Washington's tax coffers. And that marijuana is a much safer recreational drug than alcohol, with hugely fewer detrimental effects.
Marijuana was made a class 1 drug because the principle users in the 1970s where Hispanics and African Americans. This would make it easier to put these ethnic groups in jail. Looking at the current prison ethnic distributions it was very effective.
Posted by: Rich | August 10, 2013 at 02:31 PM
Gupta says marijuana "doesn't have a high potential for abuse."
--I disagree. For those with whom marijuana "clicks" it often becomes a habit and, as with any drug, habitual (abusive) use has its undesirable side effects though not near as bad as hard drugs or alcohol.
My son is a stoner. He smokes day in and day out. I think it has altered his personality and it is a cop out for him. I think because of weed's effects he has not taken advantage of some of his natural talents that he used to enjoy. He is touchy and irritable when he is not stoned. This is disappointing and sad for me.
Once in a blue moon I have taken a hit when he comes over but it doesn't do much good for me physically or mentally. I am much better off as I naturally am these days, but back in my teen years it was a different story. I smoked all the time. It didn't do me any good. I would turn left at the crossroads near my high school. The left turn took me straight to the coast highway instead of into the school. I was a surf bum drop out. I was Spicoli more than a decade before the movie was made. It took a while to get my act together and take realistic responsibility for my life.
I hope my son does the same or better.
So, do I think weed should be legal? I guess so. It probably should be regulated in some way like alcohol. Society needs to accept that there is another embedded intoxicant that is problematic for some individuals but usually not in a criminal way. Most people handle it OK, get on with their lives and don't overdo it. No doubt it helps some cope with illness or pain. Why deny them that?
It would be best, imo, if people could find enough wonder and pleasure in life without weed or other drugs. But that ain't gonna happen any time soon.
Posted by: tucson | August 11, 2013 at 06:24 PM