Marijuana: The Case for Legalization

LegalizeBy The David

The David’s experience as a registered nurse and care provider gives him an enlightened view into the beneficial uses of marijuana for medical patients and offers a practical solution for its sales and distribution.

In the State of California there is a movement to legalize the general use of marijuana and tax it to help reduce the deficit the State endures. Over the years I have been on both the con and the pro side of the fence. I have been in favor, and I have been against legalization of the weed. California, like many other States including Florida and Connecticut, has had difficulty balancing it’s budget, leading to the need to cut badly needed services, and in the case of California, to even begin to sell off State property. Most States are in a fiscal mess. The reasons are myriad. They include everything from mismanagement to greed to spiraling costs in all areas. The cuts being made are effecting some of the most vulnerable citizens. Cuts are being made to funding for all educational levels, while the tuition costs for State Colleges and Universities are skyrocketing. The State Budget Office claims it can no longer subsidize education programs. Medicaid payments for Home Care and other health services are being eroded. State programs for HIV/AIDS are being forced to continue despite the lack of the additional monies they had hoped for in order to increase their outreach and improve their services. In short, necessary services for children, the ill and the elderly are being cut because of lack of funding.

Besides those cuts, anyone who reads newspapers or watches news programs has to realize that those things that feed the soul are also losing funding and are in danger of disappearing. Music and Art are disappearing from the schools. States that contribute to the funding of theater, symphony and opera are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Museums suffer as well. The arts are a legacy we receive, enjoy, add to and then pass on to succeeding generations. What kind of custodian are we?

marlborogreensBut, what has all of this to do with legalizing “pot?” California is a place where marijuana has been legalized for medical purposes. The original intent was to make the plant available for relieving the nausea and the anorexia that often accompany chemo therapy for cancer, or that are often seen in people with AIDS. In that guise, many considered it a godsend, and it truly is that. In California, according to news reports, the weed is being prescribed for pain, anxiety and just about every other condition a person might complain of, short of an ingrown toe nail. In short, the law allowing marijuana to be prescribed is being somewhat abused by prescribers.

I don’t advocate repealing this law….. in fact, I advocate tightening it up. I think doctors physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners who might be abusing the intent of the Medical Marijuana Laws by over-prescribing should be penalized severely. But I also believe that marijuana should be legalized. It should be legalized not only in California, but throughout the country. For medical reasons, it should be kept purified and standardized. It should be kept at a tax-free and reasonable cost. It should be sold in pharmacies. Other than for medical reasons, it should be packaged and sold in liquor stores to persons “old enough to drink.” It should be taxed. The taxes collected from the sale of weed in liquor stores should be diverted to those areas suffering under the current financial crises.

I know that there is opposition that claims that marijuana is a “gateway drug,” and that those who hit a bong are sliding toward the use of hard drugs. If that were the case, I would be a vocal opponent of such legalization. There is absolutely no evidence that smoking pot leads to using harder drugs. It just isn’t so. Other opponents of legalization point to Amsterdam as a country besieged with drug problems because they have legalized just about all drug use. It just is not so. Since legalization, the crime rate and other drug related problems have been vastly reduced. I would not, however, advocate legalization for all drugs, but marijuana? it is time. Taxes collected would, of course add to the State’s coffers and reduce or eliminate deficits. Prisons would become less costly since the population, swelled by current laws that call for incarceration of those caught with pot, would be reduced and these victimless crimes would be wiped from the books. I believe it is time, and our State Legislators, and those in all other States need to be put on notice that there are other sources of revenue available….. they need to become creative and they need to become brave.

About karlsie

Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different. General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel. The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love. Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor. We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.

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15 Comments on “Marijuana: The Case for Legalization”

  1. In order to understand this mess in CA you have to go back many years. It began with Deukmejian and Wilson who grossly mismanaged and pocketed special interest money like a couple of pimps. Gray Davis who should have known better having been a comptroller further messed things up. (My Grandmother who grew up with me did warn me that he was always what she called “smarmy”) People like to laugh at us for electing the Terminator but to Schwarzenegger’s benefit, he represents the people the way He should by bringing issues to vote. So yes we too are to blame for voting recklessly like chickens in a poll. I blame this though partly on legislators who write un-intelligible laws that it takes a degree to understand. Even contientious and curious voters like myself have to read several times and look things up to get an idea of what is being presented. Oh and having a codex helps too. ( I stole it from my dad, he is pissed because it matched his Arc of the covenant footstool) Cutting education funding is not going to help this in the least though.
    Anyway back to marijuanna, yes legalize it. Not just here and your ideas are good ones. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get all caught up in crazy assed legislation with the inevitable baggage that accompanies such lucrative endevours.

  2. The crafts people for spin doctrines are a well-paid lot. Remember the admonishments of the Native Americans who observed our political representatives spoke with a forked tongue. The instruments used are always meant to employ a double meaning, a double standard for the loop holes of special interest administration. A pity we only learn our lessons in retrospect.

    I have a difficult time digesting any legislation that causes a plant produced by nature to be an illegal substance. There are poisonous plants; hallucinogenic plants; if you can’t tell the differences or understand the hazards involved with their digestion, it’s best to listen to the biologists or herbalists. One of the peculiar attributes of nature’s sometimes deadly, sometimes benevolent expressions, is for every poisonous plant she exhibits, there is a nearby cure. Under botanical applications, marijuana is an herb, that is a beneficial plant. Under narcotic plants, it doesn’t even fit the normal gateway narcotics use for entering the brain; the hippocampus located within the base of the spinal chord, leading directly into the outer layer, or animal brain which is driven primarily by response to pleasurable stimulus. The effects of marijuana are felt through previously dormant THC cells, that once stimulated, produce the “high”, similar to the stimulation of a cat in the presence of catnip. Further clarifying the botanical division, it would have to be classified as a tonic. We’ve transferred countless thousands to prison, destroyed their families, seized their homes for a tonic.

    Conversely, i am very much against the chemical processing of nature’s products. The coca leaves chewed by the indigenous people as they go about their farming tasks relieves their hunger and pain, lending them more endurance for their work. But the coca leaf, transferred into cocaine through chemical processes, heightens the addictive qualities as well as drastically lowering sensitivity to hunger and pain. The euphoric rush initially caused by the lowering of blocks usually placed as guards around sensitive issues, causes the cocaine user to crave again and again the first apparently liberating and stimulating experience.

    Opiates, the “downer” side of stimulating drugs, relax the mind through dulling the senses. Used with caution and discretion, they can be used as a peaceful means of allowing a patient to sleep so the body can begin the healing process. Taken as an antidote for coping skills failure, they can lead into a life long addiction into escape from reality situations. Amplified into derivatives such as codeine, morphine and heroin, quicker addictions develop with the consequent complications of leading the body away from dependencies.

    A person must be very masochistic or devoted to a vision quest to make a life time career out of pursuing hallucinogenic drugs such as peyote or psychedelic mushrooms. They are extremely unpalatable to the taste buds. They can cause extreme nausea, vertigo and fainting. Prolonged use can cause the small membrane blood vessels to burst. The visual effects can be very unpleasant. However, there were esteemed professors such as Timothy Leery and Ken Keasey who did not see psychedelics as hallucinogenic, but as an extension of peripheral vision. What we perceived under their influence was real; our eyes simply didn’t process and present this information to our conscious minds until we had artificially opened this door into an addition perception of reality.

    These natural drugs are still highly valued among indigenous ceremonial circles, and they should be. The people who partake do so with a serious intent to acquire greater knowledge and spiritual understanding. Caught in our lackadaisical world of recreational drug pursuit, we have a tendency to forget that.

  3. The first person to figure out “addict them, then tax them” was a genius. As long as we have a sin tax, we should make prostitution legal. We could then have a legal revenue of income to add to the tax base. We could also follow Amsterdam’s example and require prostitutes to have regular health check-ups to reduce sexually transmitted diseases.

    There’s a rumor going around that soda pop is targeted next for the sin tax as the leading cause of the diabetic epidemic. I don’t believe it will cause any less soda pop drinking than it causes fewer drinkers or alcoholics, but i relish the thought of spoiled, over-weight kids paying a sin tax for their sugar.

  4. I agree with medicinal use of marijuana. It’s way better, I am sure, than morpheine or other addictive drugs. But legalize it for general use? Never. One is supposed to legalize those activities one approves of. Are we meant to approve of drug use? Are we meant to approve of prostitution (not mentioned in the article, but in the comments)? In certain parts of Europe there are public parks with sections for heroin use. I don’t want to see America become that way. One thing that has always set our nation apart is our morals. (Yeah, yeah. Argue all you want how puritanism is an evil. Maybe so in many ways, but it nonetheless led us into cleaner choices than older, more decrepit countries.) If marijuana is not a gateway drug and there is “no proof” that it is, then just use your eyes for the proof. Everyone I have ever known who “tried” marijuana became an addict, then had no problems trying further drugs. Every laxity in moral choices is a gateway. I am not saying I am perfect. I have made my mistakes. But I have also learned from, and regretted, them. I regret the laxity that made my stupid choices possible.

  5. Savvy, respectfully I disagree. Marijuana will never replace morpheine as it acts on a different part of the brain and treats different issues. Pot is not a pain killer. It is a helpmeet to eating disfunctions caused by things like cancer treatment and A.I.D.S. and has a calming, benzo-type effect without the side effectss. I will concede that while it is not physically addicting, it is for some psychologically addicting. However let’s not get ahead of ourselves and make it a replacement for pain killing drugs. I have a huge issue with the war on drugs in general. We are talking a big talk about Poppy fields in Afghanistan and yet we need those, could you imagine even having your wisdom teeth done without Vicodine? My damn foot woulda killed me this summer without the help of poppies.
    When we begin talking about laxity in morals I get concerned…who decides what those morals are? Do you want me to decide for you? I know I don’t want anyone deciding for me.
    The biggest crime committed on marijuanna is probably the lame music and video games used and general laziness.
    I say “Legalize it, and Highly Advertize it.”~Peter Tosh

  6. ‘Who decides what those morals are?’ I don’t care! How hard is it to say that we don’t want to reward prostitution, or drug use, by legalizing it? There are some moral codes that just make plain human sense. Not having junkies shoot up in the park, for instance. No needles on public beaches.

    If these ingredients are needed in other meds, then someone can grow them in a lab. Don’t support undermining activities like drug cartels in Columbia (one of my closest friends moved here from Columbia and she has a lot to say about how the drug cartels are ruining life over there).

    But yes, I agree that worst of all are hypocrites like the Bushes who made their money off of poppy fields then declared a “war on drugs”–why? So no one else can get as rich as they did in the same way as they did.

  7. Who cares who decides our morals? Did I read that right? Because I do, I want to decide my own morality.
    The fact of the matter is Drugs in our country were not an issue until the turn of the century and after WWI. Cocaine was in every tonic and Heroin and Opium easy to come by. We had addiction yes, and yet less of it. a whopping 30% less with only 10% of our nation identified as addictied (as in it was affecting their ability to live life and maintain relationships) It was exactly when drugs became un-taxable and the government saw the huge money making machine under their noses (pun intended) that things changed.
    Making drugs in a lab does not create the same drug as we would get from the natural source. We know this from Methadone, made in a lab yet less effective on receptors while being as addictive as poppy based medications.
    P.S. when drugs were legal in our country there was no problem with junkies at the beach or parks, you see it was exeptable to drink your tonic or shoot up with your sears catalog syringe at home, no need to muck up the beaches.
    Besides which this is about Marijuanna which doen’t leave people immobilized or throwing trash about in any public area.

  8. Is there virtually any legitimate grave danger of the process of legalizing marijuana? I pretty much can’t help sensing that there is some thing real bad with this choice…l

  9. It’s good to see things like this being discussed openly, it makes me feel good to be alive in this time period. I’ll never forget the first time someone showed me all the locations of marijuana dispensaries on PotLocator, I wask amazed at how someone would actually post locations on the web. Now that it’s on the ballot in California in November, I’m thinking more and more people will appear from the underground and hurry in this movement.

  10. Pot wants to be legalized with most alternative medicine! And straight away!!! Legalization will cause law enforcement to target other, a lot of more serious crimes and conjointly destroy the empires of drug lords!! Why has this taken thus extended for crying out loud!!!

  11. Just legalize it… it’s thus straightforward to get a hold of now anyway. What would be the distinction? I do not for instance pot and simply because it genuine isn’t gonna imply that suddenly I am gonna want it. Folks who smoke can continue to smoke, however legally and individuals who don’t smoke will continue to not smoke.

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