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Saturday, April 27, 2013

My thoughts on medical marijuana

The road down the path to drug abuse usually begins with something simple like alcohol, and then to marijuana and then to something stronger to "take the edge off."  That's what a former patient who was a former drug addict told me once.  And she probably knows more than anyone the road to drug abuse, considering she took that route. 

It's also true that more than 50 percent of crimes in this country are associated with drug and alcohol abuse.  So this is why progressives earlier in the decade championed for laws banning the sale and production of marijuana.  They tried to ban alcohol too, but they succeeded before they failed on that one. 

I never smoked marijuana before, and I never intend to do it.  I also hope to God my kids decide better than to do it.  However, I was in a room once at a fraternity party where a fag was passed from one person to another.  I held it, and passed it to the person next to me.  Yet considering I was in the smoke filled room, I can say I didn't put it up to my lips, but I did inhale.

And then I was sick for the next two weeks with asthma.  If sitting in a room with cigarette smoke is bad, sitting in a room with marijuana smoke is 100 times worse.  So I'd highly recommend if you have breathing trouble that you never touch the stuff. 

Marijuana is one thing that I've changed my mind on over the years.  My friends used to smoke it, obviously.  They said it made you happy and gave you no hangover.  And they also claimed it to be safe.  And it is, relatively, except that there are some side effects:
  • 6-7% of car accidents are related to marijuana smoking
  • Increased risk for lung cancer
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Speed up heart rate
  • Speeds up breathing
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Thus, increased risk for heart attacks and strokes
Now, keep in mind there's risks to alcohol too. 

I understand people who are opponents to the legalization of marijuana, but I also understand the supporters of overturning those laws.  It is a free country, and you can't get rid of all risks by making laws.  If someone wants it, they can get it without much difficulty.  And in Michigan, the people who used to make it illegally now do so under the guise of medical marijuana. 

So I'll stop there and open the door to discussion. 


Anonymous said...

Making alcohol illegal opened the doors to crimes, just to manufacture and distribute it. Think of Al Capone and mobsters like him, speakeasies and the shady things going on there, moonshine and the toxic stuff sometimes in it, bootleggers and the stuff they did not to get caught, etc. Crime increased by ~24% over the prohibition era, and not just victimless crimes.

Surely one can draw parallels to the situation today: the Mexican cartels, street gangs, drug deals gone wrong, etc. Drug related crime in the Netherlands is almost nonexistent.

Rick Frea said...

Yes, even during prohibition you could still make alcohol for your own consumption. If you got busted with 500 gallons of the stuff you could just "claim" it was for yourself. Thanks for that stats and facts.