Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kudos to Obama...

for relaxing the federal stance on medical marijuana.
Attorney General Eric Holder signaled a change on medical marijuana policy Wednesday, saying federal agents will target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state law.
This is one step in the right direction towards legalizing and regulating the substance. If you're interested in the latest on this fight, the Marijuana Policy Project has a great website with news on both the federal and state levels.

Why I think marijuana should be legalized (in a nutshell):
  • It is a natural, fairly benign substance which arguably does less harm than tobacco or alcohol.
  • In fact, for people with chronic pain - like my mother - it can help more than it harms.
  • If regulated, any harmful ingredients currently in the market could be reduced or eliminated.
  • It frees state resources up to pursue the truly harmful, dangerous drugs that are out there (which arguably also should be legalized, but I'd like to see how the legalization of marijuana would go first).
  • Along the lines of the previous point, frees up our court system from persecuting petty criminals who deal only in marijuana.

1 comment:

benzta said...

Ok, I'll bite: I object. The simple fact of it is that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is already available to whomever can get a doctor to prescribe it to them (and that's not a limiting factor at all, considering how many people have gotten docs to prescribe mary jane to them). And not only does the prescribed THC pack a more powerful punch in pill form, it's also absorbed into the bloodstream better through the stomach than it can be through the lungs, and without all that tar and boatload of carcinogens that come with smoking weed. Joints don't have ANY filters on them at all-- do you realize how much tar and cancer-causing chemicals are being deposited into your system smoking weed?

So why don't doctors prescribe THC more? Well, because it's not very good at doing anything. Every real or faked ailment someone might seek a prescription of marijuana for has a better treatment option available for them. MUCH better. So if you're actually trying to treat an ailment, you're not going to want THC. If you're just trying to get high, you're not going to want THC (you don't get high when it's slowly absorbed through the stomach-- just in the immediacy of inhalation. Basically THC, which is the only medical reason for smoking marijuana, just ain't very good.

Further, whatever problems a patient might have, it is criminally negligent for a doctor to prescribe marijuana cigarettes. Criminal because marijuana is outlawed by federal law, and despite state laws that supposedly make it permissible, federal law trumps state law, and the only reason these doctors and patients aren't going to jail is because the Attorney General doesn't want to pursue those indictments. But he/she could at any time. It's negligent because if you're a good doctor, you're going to want to do what's best for the patient, and giving them a piss-poor drug with a cancer- (and other disease- and disorder-)causing delivery mechanism is bad medicine, plain and simple. And unless you're Bon Jovi, bad medicine is NOT what you need...