Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is it time to take a rational look at medical marijuana?

Gotta say, this knocked me over. Isn't it about time we started a decent, emotion-free discussion of the medical uses of cannabis.

Yes, it's Marijuana. Yes, if you smoke it, eat it, or otherwise ingest it, you will get high. You will become giddy. The most inane things will make you giggle. You will eat tuna fish and Oreo sandwiches. More than likely, you'll walk to the mini-mart and get a bag of Doritos, a six pack of strawberry Crush, beef jerky, and a cool belt buckle/flashlight in the shape of a skull.

But why should this behavior preclude any research into cannabis and its pharmacological benefits? The fact that stoners use it should be the joke, not the bane of cannabis research. Think about it. If there was a concerted effort to do real and exhaustive research into the effects and benefits of cannabis, there would be no shortage of subjects to study. It would be like turning over a stone and finding the Library of Alexandria.

But seriously, we have to get beyond the stoners, the failed Drug War, the noise and the confusion. To be fair and upfront, full disclosure as follows: I've been a member of NORML for more than 30 years (on and off if you count dues paying member...hey, I was broke for a lot of those years, give me a break!) In 1977, while at Washington State University, I joined in a fit of activism and because I was out of pot. I didn't get any pot but I did get schooled. Even after a internal upheaval at the state level, I still held the org close to my heart. Still do. I try to volunteer at Hempfest, talk to Meetups, and stoke the fires at the coffee shop. I think I could do something here too.

President Obama is going to have his hands full with every bitch and complaint wafting up from the masses. Every swinging cause is trying to get a sympathetic ear within his inner circle. Cannabis research, decriminalization and possible legalization are bandied about but we have a long row to hoe. The CW about cannabis is "Thou shalt not discuss nor mention cannabis without declaring an unwavering hatred for ALL drugs" If I hear another pundit equate marijuana with heroin, cocaine or meth, I'm going to hurl.

What do they take us for? We may be stoned but we ain't stupid. Wingnut Extraordinaire Bill O'Reilly tries to make the case against medical marijuana research. Anyone who considers this putz an authority on anything needs to get high. Wingnuts think BillO is so contemporary and factual while stoners think he's an idiot. So much for the theory about destroying brain cells.

Go to, go to the poll and vote for your favorite causes, one of them Marijuana Reform.

One of the most disgusting and inhumane aspects of the War of Drugs is the incarceration of millions of people for nothing more than possession of marijuana. This article by Paul Armentano speaks volumes in a few short paragraphs of text about the criminal tragedy that is our Marijuana Drug Policy

Since the early ’90s, the total number of Americans busted annually for pot has nearly tripled. In 1991, police arrested a modern low of 288,000 people for minor marijuana violations in the United States, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. By 2006 (the last year for which data is available), a record 830,000 people were arrested. (Of those arrested, an estimated 90 percent are charged with minor possession — not trafficking, cultivation or sale.)

That’s one American arrested for pot every 38 seconds.

Tell me that's not an outrage. Tell me that is what our judicial system was designed to accomplish. Tell me this is fucking justice! What normal, well educated, decent human being thinks this is OK?

Pot is not the same as crack. It is not heroin, nor is it meth. It is a common plant that when ingested gives the user a feeling of euphoria and giddiness. The claims of its benefits bring out the worst in the Putrid Punditry.

"Marijuana is BAD." "There is no evidence of any medical benefits." "It is the most dangerous of all drugs." "Do not look behind the curtain. Stay away from the man with the dials and knobs. And your little dog too."

So here we are. Fat and happy that our guy got the nod and is President. We will soon see the back end of Bush and Cheney. Huzzah! But where will that leave us. There is a lot of bullshit to weed through. Bush once accused Clinton of trashing the place as he left. It was later proven to be utter bullshit, even though the Magic Media still speak of it to this day as if it did happen. But this time, there will be a trashing of America's House. It won't involve missing keys on the keyboards but missing people in Guantanamo. Bush tied the workings of the government into a unbreakable Gordian Knot.

Can Obama get through all the bullshit? The War on Drugs is not just another topic for discussion at the Obama dinner table. Something real has to be done to pull this bullshit out of the Spin Cycle. His choice for Drug Czar will tell us a lot about what to expect from the new administration. Also, his pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder, at one time favored lengthy mandatories for first time possession. (ie: 5 years for possession with intent to distribute for pot) Does he still? Will Obama allow him to follow through on these bullshit measures?

Keep your eyes and ears on red alert until then.

We need good, thorough research of Cannabis and its medical properties. No bullshit about stoners and drug wars. Just fund the goddamn research.

So you don't like Mexican drug lords coming into this country to grow pot, make millions from its sale and distribution and shooting law enforcement personnel. You know, I don't like it either. If I could go to the liquor store or smoke shop and buy a 10 gram bag of Mendocino Purple Punch for 25 dollars, 15 of which would be taxes, how would that benefit the Mexican drug lords? Who would pay 50 bucks for 3.5 gms of shake from their seedy meth head dealers?

The Mexican drug cartels have nothing to gain and everything to lose from legalization or decriminalization. If they could (and who's to say they don't) they would contribute thousands of dollars to kill any legalization legislation. Crooked law enforcement know this. They benefit from seizures, abatements, and federal drug grants. Their anti-cannabis position has nothing to do with the effects of marijuana on society and has everything to do with what the War on Drugs contributes to their bottom line.

Take the illicit money away from marijuana and you make it safe for consumption by responsible adults. Keep it illegal and you allow the worst drug criminals to make bundles of money, remain as dangerous as Al Qaeda, and sit ever so pretty just a few short miles from our borders. That is not a good thing.

If stoners can figure this out, why can't everyone else?

So Mote It Be,
David A.


One Fly said...

Excellant post and agree 100%. You might want to look at this. It's not much but it's something anyway.

Cats r Flyfishn said...

Make something illegal and the black market prospers.

I agree with your article. Thanks for posting it.