Marijuana; Pros and Cons

Wow, a step in the right direction.  Voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved marijuana legalization.  Let’s see where it goes from there.

First of all, all our laws against the smoking of pot are a waste of taxpayer resources because the law focuses on a drug that, at worst, only hurts its user.  It is a waste of resources to take people with this one habit, remove them from support systems, their family, and the possibility of rehab, and send them to jail or prison (aka, criminal conditioning and crime school).  By making this drug illegal makes society less safe as it drives the inevitable market underground outside of regulation where dealing it becomes dangerous and promotes criminal enterprises such as gangs, terrorism and people who will stop at nothing to protect their crop.

I support the legalization of marijuana because I know several responsible professionals who secretly smoke recreationally just fine. There are countless professionals and politicians who use it but stay in the closet due to the irrational stigma, and thus the stigma persists as it is associated only with criminals and people with severe and debilitating addiction issues not at all related to marijuana.

Marijuana should absolutely be made available to people with medical conditions.  I know someone who is severely disabled with a back injury and all his doctor can do is prescribe copious amounts of addictive pain killers with horrible side effects for him.  Many, such as morphine, make him ill and knock him out for hours.  Marijuana, however, allows him to get up, walk around while functioning almost pain free for a couple of hours at a time.  Should he be arrested?

My sister, who died of brain cancer, she refused morphine during her final few months and instead opted for the illegal and criminal use of marijuana for both pain management and to facilitate healthy eating.  Although she never partook in drugs ever before in her life prior to developing cancer, she said “So what if I become addicted to it.  So what if it will give me cancer.  So what if it kills my brain cells.  So what if it decreases my sex drive.  So what if it makes me a sex offender.  At least I can fully and actively spend my last few months on this earth with my family and not vegetated in a morphine induced coma.”

Marijuana was first made illegal in the thirties when a man named Harry Anslinger was put in charge of alcohol prohibition.  When the government realized that they were loosing millions in tax revenue and prohibition only created crime (like the marijuana laws do today), they repealed the prohibition.  What they didn’t realize is that poor people who couldn’t afford the illegal alcohol turned to marijuana as a substitute and discovered that not only was it inexpensive and they could grow their own, but it promoted appetite for the sick, worked much better than prescription drugs for pain relief, and it was a cure for addiction to prescription drugs and was a cure for alcohol addiction.  Not only that but when a person with alcoholism tendencies came home and partook in smoking weed instead of the bottle, he didn’t beat his wife and kids, he didn’t blow his paycheck, he didn’t crash his car, he didn’t throw up all over the place, and he didn’t get a hang over the next day.  Marijuana was a God-send to those suffering from alcoholism.

Anslinger teamed up with the generou$ Hearst Corporation, who owned hundreds of newspapers, which were printed on paper made from trees, whose pulp  suppliers were farming marijuana instead of lumber; and he teamed up with the pharmaceutical companies who were seeing a decrease in prescription sales, and the breweries who were seeing a decrease in alcohol sales.  Something had to be done.  So they made marijuana illegal.

Harry Anslinger made up so many lies and exaggerated so many stories about the herb that every time he retold his stories, they became more phantasmagorical.  Anywhere he could connect marijuana to a crime, he would cherry pick the data with rabid and foaming at the mouth discourse and exaggeration.

Since racism was rampant and acceptable back then, he would often use race as a scare tactic.  Harry once wrote:  “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.”  “Marijuana and sex, result: Syphilis and pregnancy.”

If there was a crime and the smoking of marijuana could somehow be connected to that person in any capacity, he would blame the crime on the marijuana.  Even though music greats such as Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker both died after years of heroin and alcohol abuse, Anslinger blamed their deaths on marijuana.

This mentality still exists today.  In 1986 Reagan Drug Czar Carlton Turner ridiculously claimed that Marijuana leads to homosexuality and ultimately to AIDS.  Given his logic then, so does alcohol.  Why isn’t that illegal?  Answer:  $$$$$$ on both fronts.

LaGuardia commissioned a report, called “The LaGuardia Report” which debunked most of the myths about marijuana but the government refused and still refuses to listen to facts.  Alcohol kills tens of thousands every year in car accidents and hundreds of thousands more due to other health complications related to alcoholism.  The Center for Disease Control doesn’t even have a category for marijuana because, well, no one ever died from it.

So, my predominate disgruntlement about this herb being illegal is because we were sold a bill of lies and deceit by the government which in turn destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives, many more collateral lives and cost us billions.  If alcohol was illegal and marijuana was legal, this country would be in a much better estate.

Now, for my cons.  I am a church organist and I know a lot of people who recreationally smoke pot, and that includes a smattering of Roman Catholic priests.  People who smoke pot are quick to say that it augments  and amplifies an experience.  I’m not a smoker so I can’t confirm this.  However, I can talk about my experience with other smokers.

I once went on a hike with a few people who took a few hits while out on the trail.  As we walked down a path, one of them commented on the beautiful and glistening foliage on the trees.  It was winter and I told them that there were no leaves on the trees.  She said that the way the sunlight was glistening on the branches, it was as if there were leaves on the trees.

Further down the trail we walked past a lake and I noticed my companions were “focused” on the trail straight ahead.  When I pointed out the lake to their left, they were amazed that it was there and commented how gorgeous it was and waxed exuberantly about the way the sun glistened off the water and how gorgeous it was.   On our return trip, I told them that we were going to pass by the beach on the lake and one of them asked “What beach?”  It was the one we walked across to get to the trail.  Somehow, their senses were so augmented and amplified, they missed was was in front of them.

My point is, maybe marijuana does augment and amplify the experience but, only in the users’ head.  Not in reality.  Likewise, food apparently tastes better while high.  In reality, the flavor of the food doesn’t change, only the the smoker’s perception of it.  Are the senses heightened?  I don’t know.

Here is a link to a Family Guy Episode from season four called “Deep Throats.”  In this episode, Lois and Peter resurrect their hippie days as folk singers and they enter a talent contest because, well, they are really good.  Watch the end to see how good they really are.

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