Politics & Media
Dec 06, 2023, 06:28AM

The Downsides of Marijuana

Half of the country can legally light up, but is that all good?

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Nearly half of America’s states have legalized marijuana, and while it’s good that fewer states now send people to jail for smoking pot, they should focus on the downsides of the drug.

Weed Proponents claim the substance is harmless or that people should have freedom of choice, but marijuana presents many problems. States that’ve legalized weed should respond to these by enacting common-sense marijuana control.

Marijuana’s promoted too much in public. When driving in Massachusetts, I often see billboards advertising marijuana dispensaries. Advertising makes people more likely to use products by exposing people to its availability. It also helps normalize marijuana to the public—adults and children. Since exposure to alcohol and gambling advertising makes children more likely to drink and gamble underage, the same is most likely true with marijuana. Hyper-individualists may not see this problem, but marijuana can harm public health, lead to increased car accidents, and exacerbate mental health problems. Society should mitigate such problems for future generations.

As Congressional Democrats try to legalize marijuana advertising on television, what we need is to keep the ban in place and for municipalities to disallow marijuana advertising on billboards and buses.

Most states allow for the sale of unregulated and potent Delta 8 cannabis, also known as gas station weed. One of the arguments in favor of marijuana legalization was always that you have no idea what you’re getting on the streets. It’s a solid argument, especially at a time when people die of fentanyl overdoses because they do a line of cocaine laced with a deadly substance they had no intention of using. Delta 8 takes us back to the problems associated with street weed. No one knows where it comes from or what’s in it. A loophole in the 2018 farm bill legalized Delta 8 weed nationwide because proponents of industrial hemp, like 81-year-old Mitch McConnell, don't know shit about weed. That’s not to say companies lace Delta 8 with fentanyl, but it may feature contaminants and impurities (heavy metals, pesticides, mold) that negatively impact public health.

The biggest problem is that makes marijuana far more widely available since gas stations, convenience stores, smoke shops, grocery stores, and other entities can sell it without being a licensed weed dispensary. Do we want a pot shop on every block? That’s the reality Delta 8, thanks to governmental incompetence. States could either ban it or regulate it the same way they regulate standard marijuana. Either way, you should probably refrain from getting high off something you buy at a gas station.

Medical marijuana also poses a problem. Although medical marijuana has broader public support than recreational weed—because one can make a convincing case tht it helps veterans with PTSD and those with glaucoma—abuses exist in the process of getting a medical card. In many states, it’s a rubber stamp. You find a quack doctor, make up some ailment, pay him $200, and you’re approved for a medical card. The card allows you to buy more potent weed for less money. I know several people with medical cards, and this is the description of the process they all provided and their rationale for obtaining one. It’s an easy way for hacks to make money rather than an avenue to provide a drug to sick people who may benefit from it. States should ensure those with medical cards are people who need them, not stoners looking for a better deal.

The states’ top concerns regarding marijuana generally are maximizing vice revenue and so-called racial equity guidelines put forth by cannabis commissions. They should focus more on protecting public health, not enriching state coffers and a new special interest group.

  • Some conservatives think the reason this is legal is akin to the Pax in "Firefly." Things that pacify the population without threatening the ruling class, from sodomy to abortion, can be legal. Activities that threaten power, like telling jokes, making memes, posting on twitter, organizing political groups, holding protests, marching on capitols, will be met with fines, bullets, jail, unemployment, etc.

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  • This week Virginia state legislator Adam Ebbin is complaining that 90% of medical pot in Virginia is purchased on the black market. Because it's cheaper. Because the licensed and regulated dispensaries are so few, as few permits were issued so as to ensure, perhaps, monopoly profits. Ebbin hopes to legalize recreational pot now as well. https://www.wmal.com/2023/11/17/virginia-democrats-look-to-legalize-marijuana-sales/

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  • I like the way Colorado has handled it. Medical card may be easy to get but only the edibles are stronger than what can be purchased on the rec side. Since it is taxed at a lower rate than most states, most don't bother with a med card just for the discount. Compared to Texas, where pot is Verboten, Delta 8 is rarely seen, and I fully agree that it is risky on the pollutant side. Based on traffic statistics for my county, pot legalization has had no impact on overall accident incidents or fatalities. That all said, I remain in favor of pot legalization Especially for medical purposes like migraines and head injuries.

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  • I have been a proponent for the decriminalization of marijuana use since the 1970s being an early supporter of the group 'NORML' {National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws]. U.S policy on drug use for decades was misguided with the whole war on drugs campaign. The focus of the policy should have been the war on drug abuse not on drugs.... There is a fine line between those who use drugs recreationally or medicinally and those who abuse drugs and are adversely affected by using them. The later group needs our support including rehabilitation. Today societies views on marijuana including the growing trend of legalizing and commercializing marijuana throughout many states is also misguided. In many places where marijuana is legal it is viewed as a harmless or even beneficial herb that can be taken to aid a variety of different ailments almost comparable to drinking green tea with no mention of possible negative side effects. With the potency of marijuana today being many times stronger than it was in the 1970s the focus for society today should still be on drug abuse. I would advise anyone who uses marijuana to do a risk/benefit analysis and honestly assess whether the benefits outweigh the risks and if they don't is it a wise decision to keep using it. A friend of mine who is a highly productive engineer every evening takes 3 or 4 tokes of marijuana from his pipe and then listens to music for a few hours before going to bed. That is the only time he uses marijuana and he says it puts him in a relaxed and tranquil state of being For my friend and those like him one could make the argument that on balance they benefits from their marijuana use. I also know many people and particularly young people who have become psychologically and emotionally unstable from marijuana use even to the point of psychosis.. There needs to be an honest conversation about marijuana use in the U.S and based on the data and research that tends to get buried by the MSM/Press anyone under 20 should avoid using marijuana and wait until there brains and nervous systems are more fully developed. For those over 20 do your own risk/benefit analysis and see if using marijuana is really worth it in the long run. Even if the risks outweigh the benefits and one still chooses to use marijuana at least that person is being honest with themselves. All of us are flawed and have some sort of vice but eventually if we want to improve ourselves we need to acknowledge those vices and try to overcome them...

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  • Small government conservatives want the government out of their lives, or at least that's what they claim.

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