Marijuana has made its way to mainstream American society’s attention. This time armed with more information, data, and research than previously during the baby boomer hippie counterculture era. Legal and medical marijuana surround Americans, even in more conservative states where marijuana is still frowned upon with felonies and many other consequences and/or rehabilitation programs. Nowadays, the medical benefits of marijuana are becoming well-known. Even enough to allow some incredibly ill children to live a full life, that they would otherwise be robbed of without medical marijuana(CBD). Legal now in four states Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, Washington and the District of Columbia and marijuana(or decriminalized marijuana) is available in 23 states and the District of Columbia. California state started this all in 1996.
As a native of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, marijuana has been apart of my adult life from the beginning. It was a cash crop when I was growing up and it is almost apart of our culture here in Oregon. So, to see the nation more in “the know” is extremely refreshing. We are not all lazy stoners as many try to stigmatize us. We are just people. Shocking I know! How can we not be the evil lazy people the government has made us out to be?
Some of us are just medical marijuana patients not looking to get strung out on legal pharmaceuticals. Natural and organic versus made in a lab with unknown chemicals and fillers, this seems extremely logical. Avoiding fast food and other pollutants does not help anyone to be healthy if they are filling their body with pharmaceutical pollutants. Chemicals are just bad, a capitalized industry that aims to keep you a customer.
“In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.” ~Francis Young [DEA Administrative Law Judge – 1988]
Marijuana is an herb, just as tea. Some days I drink tea, some days I drink coffee. This is no different than a glass of wine after work versus smoking a joint after work. Different strokes for different folks. Prohibition has never been a successful tactic. Yet, we still utilize it as a capitalist government industry.
Legalization of marijuana has had some kinks, example Washington state, but it has had some success helping state economies as well, example Colorado. After the war on drugs no longer involves marijuana then we will be able to focus more on legalization and taxes, rather than courts, fines, and jail time. Make money rather than spend money.
“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” ~Bill Hicks
Medical marijuana seemed to be the best middle ground for those of us looking for more than recreational use, without jail time or other life-long consequences. I speak from personal experience: in Oregon I was caught with marijuana. Due to it being in hash form(manufactured), I am now a felon for life. Yes for marijuana, a plant. Forever, people look at me differently when I fill out applications at social institutions like my condo building and job applications/licenses, etc. In Oregon people tend to look at me with sympathy. However, in Texas they stared at me and said I would still be in jail if I had been caught in Texas. Reality is relative. Yet, it is a stigma marijuana users nationwide risk without the ability to obtain medical or legal use of marijuana.
Marijuana growers and dispensaries have the difficult job of walking the fine lines the government draws out state by state. Varying rules and regulations on medical marijuana depend on state laws. However, federal law trumps state law, so there is a forever loophole in medical and legal marijuana. The federal government retains the right to seize assets of those involved in drug cases, therefore growers and dispensaries have the most on the line for the freedom of us all.
Why such a stink about a plant (pun intended)? So many people are involved in consensual crimes within the United States every year. Can we stop prosecuting marijuana users and growers to focus on hard drugs or other social issues?