Washington, DC - I've never smoked pot. Not once, nada...zero. I guess I must be missing out on something but I'm not sure what.
My wife and I were in Seattle a year or so ago. We were there to visit my son. The city was having their first hemp festival. We saw a number of people walking the streets of Seattle who seemed like they were in a coma. They were in a happy coma but nevertheless they were in some kind of daze.
Since I haven't partaken of marijuana there is a lot I cannot say about the new legalized drug of choice - well, sort of legalized. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and DC have their own point of view about how far people can go with pot.
I don't particularly like aspirin, Tylenol or taking cold medicine. I don't enjoy going to the doctor. Neither do I enjoy watching people suffer in their final days leading up to death. I have been at the bedside of many suffering people in my lifetime. I am in favor of terminally ill people having sufficient pain relieving drugs. Hospice is well known for their administration of pain relievers. They can give you massive doses of opiate pain medicine. Thus, you are practically dead before you actually die. I don't like that either but you never know how you are going to feel on your deathbed.
Sadly a number of people in America have become medicine seekers - primarily pain medicine seekers. Living on pain medication doesn't seem like much of a life to me. Walking around in a state of numbness with a little euphoria is not appealing. However, if you are suffering from a painful terminal illness then your attitude changes. It's funny how our attitudes change about a lot of stuff in life when we are the ones hurting.
I know there are a lot of drug addicts in America. Some of these addicts are sitting in church pews on Sundays. Their bathroom cabinets are lined with pills prescribed by medical doctors who have licenses to practice legalized drug trafficking.
We need to move on and legalize medical and industrial cannabis in this country.
Stories abound of people with diseases, from glaucoma to multiple sclerosis, who testify about the benefits of marijuana. Alcohol, cigarettes and gambling have been a central part of this nation for a long time. Americans suffer a lot of problems from all three. Abuse of any substance or thing will eventually bring about harm to our lives - even pizza. Pizza? Pizza is addictive. The long-term results of a life on pizza are obesity, diabetes and etc.
Any kind of medical marijuana should be used at home or in a regulated area. Like alcohol, keep it away from drivers. Tax it enough to help fund the state Medicaid programs. People will find a way to abuse it and make themselves sick. There will be health costs to our society from abuse. Let states that are economically suffering, grow and sell it for industrial and medical uses. Start some factories and make some clothes from the growth of cannabis. Start some stores and sell the clothes, textiles, paint, fuel, paper, rope and many other products that cannabis would make. This would mean jobs and cash flow.
I don't plan on taking up pot smoking. I don't really plan on using morphine or oxycodone either. Most people don't because they never anticipate being in that much pain. Life changes and scenarios change. Our government and all of us should look at the entire scenario and employ common sense.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group, organization or this publication.
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