Medical Marijuana Regulation and Control
This November voters in Massachusetts will decide on Question 3, a ballot measure that would legalize medical marijuana for qualified patients.
Opponents talk a lot about teen use and increased trafficking if medical marijuana passes, but their arguments 1) miss the point of regulation and control and 2) don’t even address whether medical marijuana can help people; they avoid that subject because most agree that marijuana has medicinal properties.
A pediatrician in MA wrote an email to The Boston Globe recently that sums up the issue quite well. “We know tobacco causes lung disease, worsens heart ailments, and is the leading cause of death from disease in the United States,” he writes. “We regulate it, we tax it and we allow for individual choice and its consequences.
“We know that liquor causes cirrhosis. We regulate it, we tax it, and we allow for individual choice and its consequences.
“We are involved in the legalization of gambling in Massachusetts even today. The Commonwealth benefits from it financially knowing full well what public health consequences may result.
“I won’t even talk about guns.
“In so far as medical marijuana is concerned, if revenue is an issue, here is a solution.
“If crime is an issue, here is a solution. If clinical trials are an issue, have the FDA reclassify THC. There are already more significantly more expensive, toxic and addictive pharmaceuticals approved. If quality control is an issue, this is the way to protect our population.”
The money made from marijuana prohibition for a certain few blinds many to the fact that we control other substances in a legal market and yet we don’t apply the same logic to marijuana, the safest of them all.
More and more people are waking up. It’s just a matter of time before the walls of prohibition come tumbling down.
Medical Cannabis and Its Impact on Human Health
The video below is the first part of a great documentary on cannabis and its history as a medicine. It is myth-shattering and information-packed - physicians and leading researchers teach you about medicinal cannabis and its demonstrated effects on human health.
It is a game-changing movie that presents the most comprehensive synopsis to date of the real science surrounding the world's most controversial plant.
Topics covered include what the consensus is from over 1500 scientific and medical trials, what conditions have been proven to benefit from medical marijuana, its historical use as medicine dating back over 5300 years and more.
Opponents of medical marijuana will continue to demonize it in any way they can, from cherry-picking studies to claiming dispensaries are magnets for crime and that medical marijuana makes it easier for teens to get cannabis. No matter how many times these lies are disproven, it is all MMJ opponents have, so they will cling to their lies until the very end.
Yet with polls putting support for medical marijuana at more than 70% nationwide, it seems the lies are losing their effectiveness. State by state medical marijuana makes its presence felt.
Medical Marijuana Joints
How Will Feds React if Washington Voters Pass I-502?
Washington voters will go to the polls In November to vote on a measure that would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults – I-502. If it passes, how will the federal government react?
Some say it will depend on who is elected President, but will it? Don’t President Obama and Mitt Romney seem to have similar views about medical marijuana being illegal under federal law?
What if Obama wins, which looks likely as of now? Would the Obama administration pick a legal fight over states' rights to try to block Initiative 502? Would federal prosecutors charge marijuana growers and retailers, even if they are authorized by state law?
Or would — as some opponents and supporters predict — federal authorities denounce the law but largely leave Washington alone? What would President Obama have to gain from continuing his crackdown into a second term, and even expanding it?
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, an I-502 supporter who talks often with federal authorities, thinks the Justice Department would back off after "a long, intense, fairly high-level conversation" with campaign and state officials.
"In the end, I think the feds will go with the will of the voters," said Holmes.
I-502 itself would legalize one ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older, and creates a seed-to-store, closed, state-regulated monopoly estimated to raise more than $560 million in new taxes. It would also create a new, non-science based DUI standard for driving under the influence of marijuana that some advocates fear is simply another way to criminalize marijuana use.
According to a state fiscal analysis, I-502 would result in as many state pot stores — 328 — as there are state liquor stores, with 363,000 customers consuming 85 metric tons of pot, all of which would have to be grown in Washington state. An economic boon to say the least.
Medical Marijuana and Teens
Medical marijuana advocates hear it all the time from our opponents: medical marijuana leads to more teen use and easier access to marijuana for teens. Let’s tackle the logic of this argument, yet again, in a minute. But first let us discuss where this opinion comes from.
To believe the increased legality of something leads to increased availability for those who are underage is to assume that something being illegal makes it less likely that a teen will get a hold of it in the first place. This is simply not borne out by common sense or history.
Marijuana use continues to go up, despite federal prohibition and continued prohibition in most states (including recreational prohibition in every state). Marijuana is more available now than it has ever been, despite decades of law enforcement raids and the arrest of 800,000 people every year in the U.S. for marijuana offenses.
To believe legalizing marijuana in any form will lead to increased availability for teens is to believe that prohibition works. And if you believe that, I own a bridge in New York City that I will sell to you cheap.
There is no way legalizing marijuana will lead to it being more available to teens than it is right now in the black market. DRUG DEALERS DO NOT CHECK I.D. But places like liquor stores do.
“I think we’re going to be sacrificing the mental health of our young people if we pass this law,” said Dr. John Knight, director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, about Question 3, the measure to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Massachusetts.
This man obviously has a lot of formal education, but where is his common sense? Is it that people like him are completely unaware of how easy it is for gets to get marijuana and hard drugs on the street? Do they not know how much easier it is for a teen to get a joint than a bottle of Jack Daniels?
If you claim to want marijuana to be less available to teens, keeping it illegal and unregulated is the most illogical position you could take short of favoring passing out free joints at school like condoms.
Why Medical Marijuana Patients Protested Obama Campaign Headquarters Nationwide
The Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (http://safeaccessnow.org) – Steph Sherer – wrote an op-ed in The Huffington Post yesterday on why advocates felt the need to hold a nationwide protest of President Obama’s medical marijuana policy on Thursday, September 20th.
“My organization,” she writes, “Americans for Safe Access, has been engaging voters since July with our Camp WakeUpObama campaign, helping to give a voice to patients and their families. Today campers mark the end of summer with nationwide rallies outside of Obama's campaign offices, because we're not being invited inside. Things would be different if the President would apply his campaign slogan, "Forward," to our cause: stopping the raids and prosecutions of state-permitted institutions, and moving public health policy forward by ending the conflict between state and federal law.
“I can't ignore the fact that many responses to Camp WakeUpObama have been critical and to those of you who disapprove I ask, what else are patients supposed to do? In asking President Obama to fulfill his stated policy of respecting state compassionate use laws, we are not asking him to do anything unpopular: 80% of Americans support safe access to medical cannabis, 74% are against the stepped-up raids and prosecutions and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is polling at 7% in Colorado campaigning on this issue. Even two-thirds of Republicans support state medical cannabis laws. With the public on our side, why should patients and our loved ones be silent?
“Camp WakeUpObama is not about encouraging people to vote for Romney or any other challenger, but about expressing our own points of view. When I wrote during the Democratic National Convention that pro-marijuana candidate Gary Johnson's poll numbers could make him a spoiler in the crucial swing state of Colorado, I wasn't criticizing third-party supporters, I was showing Democrats the proof that their standard-bearer's wrong-headed cannabis crackdown is costing the party votes. I never thought that Mitt Romney's campaign would be emailing reporters our talking points or that his vice-presidential nominee would publicly support state decisions on marijuana law. Though a lot has happened in the past few months, it's not too late for Obama to seize the issue.”
Will Obama seize the issue, or will he wait until after his likely reelection to do anything about stopping the crackdown? Or will he continue on as he is now?
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