Thomm Quackenbush, author

Marijuana Legalization

I can't believe I've never wrote about this before, I mean it really should have been the first topic I discussed. I am shocked by how long it took me to even think about writing about this. Marijuana legalization. Yeah, I can't believe I forgot about it either. Oh wait, maybe that's not so surprising considering the topic.

"My theory on this is that these people were just dumb to begin with, now they just have an excuse for it."

So, the US Supreme Court ruled that the federal law that says weed is bad, trumps state laws in 10 states that say you can smoke weed, as long as your doctor says its okay (note to self, get a new doctor, a cool one). According to the Controlled Substances Act marijuana is illegal AND has no medical value, just like heroin. Because weed and heroin are a lot alike in that they… um… are… no… hm… both make you kinda sleepy? I don't see how anyone can put those two drugs in any category together. There are some illicit drugs that don't have any medical value like acid, ecstasy, and peyote but I don't think saying that pot has no medical value is very fair. For that matter, saying heroin has no medical value is also unfair because they both do have their medical purposes but you have to weigh the risks. Heroin and cocaine are both very--and I mean VERY--effective painkillers but the whole addiction and brain melting things make their medical uses pretty much moot. Weed on the other hand has much less risk to one's health involved. Of course inhaling any sort of smoke is going to cause lung damage to a certain degree but if you are dying of cancer and want to smoke in order to feel better, lessen pain, and increase appetite, I think that is a risk that is worth taking.

A lot of people say that weed can affect short term memory. I don't know about that. Certainly while you're high, you have trouble remembering what happened 5 minutes ago or exactly what the hell you were just talking about but is the effect lasting? In my personal experience, I have had no memory problems that lasted longer than a few days and I have smoked a lot of weed--in my past, of course. Drug free is the way to be, right? But of course I have met the old burnt-out pothead who can't remember much of anything. My theory on this is that these people were just dumb to begin with, now they just have an excuse for it. Come to think of it, I have done a lot of drugs, all kinds of drugs, and I don't notice a difference in my memory or intelligence in the least. Maybe I'm just a freak but I doubt it.

Also alcohol is legal and it has far worse medical risks. Alcohol causes people to be more out of control than weed. When people are drunk, they are more likely to fight. When was the last time you saw two potheads fighting it out? It doesn't happen. When was the last time someone did something dumb like having sex with a random stranger and used the excuse "I was high?" Your judgment isn't nearly as impaired while stoned. The worst thing someone is gonna do is eat something kinda weird. Alcohol is physically addicting. Weed, not so much.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel here though. One of the Justices involved in this decision suggested the solution is changing the federal law to allow for medical marijuana usage. So, am I wrong in thinking that if the Federal government passed medical marijuana legislation, all states would then have legal medical marijuana? I hope they would. I know that in New York, we have decriminalized weed which only means that you won't go to jail for possession of a small amount but you will have a fine and my definition of a small amount doesn't seem conducive with the state's definition. You can get 15 days in jail if you are caught with 25 grams or less if it's your third offense. An ounce will get you three months on the first offense. In reality, having an ounce of weed does not mean there is intent to sell, at least not for some of the people I know.

Surprisingly, according to most polls, the majority of America agrees with me on this topic. It feels kinda weird being in the majority for once. So something could change if people would speak up. I suggest going to NORML, they have simple form letters that can be e-mailed to Representatives and Senators to let them know that the majority of their constituents support at least medical marijuana, if not full on legalization.

I would also like to point out that buying weed doesn't support terrorism but if it were legal no one could even claim this.



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