Marijuana: The Devil Drug

David Juaire and his wife Christina Stewart were recently charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree.  They were growing it in their basement.  Have you ever wondered why this sort of thing happens?  Here is a quote:

“Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
-Harry Anslinger.

That quote must be true because a politician said it and laws were created because of what he said.  There is a saying, “If you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”   Good old Harry served on the Bureau of Prohibition.  Since Prohibition caused more crime than it deterred and the government lost a lot of money in tax revenue,  prohibition was lifted.   Anslinger was appointed as the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics.  What the Treasury Department has to do with drugs, I don’t . . . oh, alcohol and tobacco are big business and therefore taxable.  Marijuana can be home grown and thus, is not taxable. 

The war on drugs began when Anslinger wanted to make a name for himself and like many politicians,  he made up “facts” about marijuana which were later debunked in the La Guardia Report.  During the Prohibition, poor people who couldn’t buy what Capone and other mobsters were selling, turned to marijuana.  They could easily grow it themselves.  After the Prohibition was lifted, marijuana smokers continued to use it because it was cheap, non addictive and didn’t cause hangovers or intoxication.  Since marijuana use was cutting into alcohol and tobacco profits, Congress made it illegal.  Anslinger simply made up lies about marijuana to get congress and the sheep of society to follow along with his plan.  Many of those lies and false beliefs exist today.

Now that Colorado has legalized marijuana, have their death rates from automobile accidents  climbed? And crime, rape, murder and burglary, have those skyrocketed as Anslinger would have predicted? 

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration Statistics the alcohol-related deaths in the US in  2007 were 15,387.  Here are the Annual Causes of Death in the United States in the year 2010:
Tobacco : 435,000
Alcohol : 85,000
Prescription Drugs : 32,000
Suicide: 30,622
Sexual Fetishes : 20,000
All illegal drug use (excluding marijuana) : 17,000
Aspirin : 7,600
Lack of Health Insurance 44,789
Poisoning 41,592
Firearm Injuries 31,347
Homicide 16,799
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) 9,406
Viral hepatitis 7,694
Marijuana : 0
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/30

As I look over that list, I can’t help but wonder how many of those deaths could have been prevented had the victim been able to use marijuana for the treatment of whatever was ailing them.  While answering a suicide hotline, many of my callers are suffering from prescription drug addictions and the withdrawal is unbearable to them.

Facts:
Over 31% of the US population aged 12 and older are estimated to have used marijuana.

Many people die from alcohol use. Nobody dies from marijuana use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana since it is so insignificant.

People die from alcohol and drug overdoses. There has never been a fatal marijuana overdose.

The health-related costs associated with alcohol use far exceed those for marijuana use.

Alcohol use damages the brain. Marijuana use does not. Despite the myths we’ve heard throughout our lives about marijuana killing brain cells, it turns out that a growing number of studies seem to indicate that marijuana actually has neuroprotective properties. This means that it works to protect brain cells from harm – after around the age of 21, after the brain has fully formed.

According to the La Guardia Report which was commissioned to answer the claims of Anslinger:
Alcohol use is linked to cancer. Marijuana use is not.
Alcohol is addictive.  Marijuana is not.
Alcohol use increases the risk of injury to the consumer. Marijuana use does not.
Alcohol use contributes to aggressive and violent behavior. Marijuana use does not.
Alcohol use is a major factor in violent crimes. Marijuana use is not.
Alcohol use contributes to the likelihood of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Marijuana use does not.
   
It is a shame that the Draconian Congressional laws behind this benign drug have put so many people in prison and jail.  Marijuana arrests have rendered  people unemployable because of their “criminal” records.  It has sentenced so many children of these convicted “criminals” as collateral damage and has sucked dry our social services programs because these “criminals” can’t sustain themselves nor their families.  Incarceration of these non-violent offenders costs the tax payers about $30,000 per year per offender.

Congress, in one fell swoop, can legalize marijuana across the country, release all the non-violent pot smoking offenders from prisons and jails, expunge their records and allow people to use medical marijuana for addictions, mental health issues and pain relief.

Sure, this will cut into the tax revenue yielding from alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs, but not that much.  The users of those products are addicted and will always be around to squander their pay checks in service to their addictions.  The one thing that can save them from their addictions is, well, marijuana.

As people use tobacco less, consume less alcohol and the misuse of prescription drugs diminishes, the less fatalities we will have.  Less people will be going to hospitals and draining our healthcare programs, less people will be suffering from the side effects of prescription pain medication, less people will be in prison.  In essence, there will be a lot less people in the position of being a burden to society.

The solution is so simple and staring us right in the face.  Congress needs only to listen to facts and statistics, not the lobbyists  and their cherry pickers.  Every day I read in the paper that someone is getting arrested for possession.  Why are they being arrested?  Because it is against the law?  Why is it illegal in the first place?   Oh, because of Harry:

“How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured…No one knows, when he places a marijuana cigarette to his lips, whether he will become a joyous reveller in a musical heaven, a mad insensate, a calm philosopher, or a murderer… “
-Harry Anslinger.

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