May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Legalization: What about the Children? And the Users?

Here's an interesting and compelling reason for legalizing marijuana.  The children.  And the adult users.

Regarding children and young adults (and probably older adults as well), there are a portion of them that are going to want to escape, or just to try something new.  You probably have somebody among your family and friends for whom this applies.

Here are a few of the dangers of NOT legalizing, and NOT regulating:

  1. There is nobody checking for IDs, so at present, it is READILY available to any high school of middle school student if they want to get it.
  2. It remains unregulated which has two inherent problems.
    1. A user doesn't have a clue how strong it is, and may get too much effect.  Would you do this with aspirin or alcohol?  No--the strength is printed right on the side of the bottle.
    2. Your children and friends could be breathing in dangerous molds and chemicals.  Cannabis grown indoors attracts mold, and many growers use chemicals to combat it, and also to help the plants grow faster and bigger.  In this world where the things we get at the grocery store are grown using pesticides, we've already lowered our standards of what we put in our bodies.  If you wouldn't allow your children and friends to eat chemicals on apples, would you want them to get it here without regulation?
  3. It's known that people, especially children who lack adult capacity for judgment) will try substitute drugs to get high if Cannabis is illegal.  
    1. One such substitute is huffing glue and gasses that can cause hypoxia which can permanently destroy brain cells.
    2. Another substitute is the K2 stuff, a.k.a. "spice" which is incredibly dangerous, and has a variety of chemicals sprayed onto leaves.  People are going to emergency rooms as a result of this.  It's called "synthetic marijuana" but that's a terrible misnomer.  A person cannot overdose on marijuana.  K2/spice would better be called a variant of meth.  In other words, prohibition is a gateway drug.
Let's face it.  Healthy adults want their children to grow up healthy.  And they don't want their kids to be using drugs.  

I will continue to say this to my grave if necessary.  Legalize it, and educate about it honestly--young people with growing minds would do well to abstain.  But don't lock people up over it, and don't destroy their lives using political and legislative force.  Grow it outdoors.  Eschew smoking it, opting instead for vaporizing or ingestion, which are much safer and provide different benefits.

For people with serious medical conditions, it should be researched by pharmaceutical industries.  There are terpenes and cannabinoids of astounding value that need to be researched and combined in the most effective combinations into medicine.  There is plenty of money to be made for pharmaceutical industries without keeping it illegal for simple adult use.

We should do everything we can to stop people from driving while intoxicated in any form--whether the intoxicant is alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, a cell phone, or a hamburger.  This requires major changes, and will require political will to create a powerful system of trains and busses for mass transit.  It will also take a major attitude adjustment for Americans who want to be independent and free to drive whenever and wherever they want without prior planning.  I think we can and must do this.

And finally, for God's sake... for GOD's sake (literally), legalize hemp and start weaving it back into the industries that it has been excluded from.  The world won't come to an end if we cut back on tree-based paper production.  In fact, it will tend more toward thriving.  The world won't come to an end if we use hemp textiles.  It won't come to an end if we use hemp oil in place of ethanol.  The corn industry would decrease, but those very same farmers who grow corn could switch to hemp!  Hemp produces more oil per acre/hectare than corn.  The list of uses goes on and on, so for God's sake, we need to allow hemp to become a vital part of our economy.
And of course, this all needs to start from a place of LOVE.  Do you love your neighbor?  Then you want them to eat good food.  You want them (if they choose to imbibe at all) to intoxicate themselves safely.  You want them to transport safely to and from their work, play, and home.  And you want them to have a clean planet.  You don't want them in prison.  You don't want their families devastated by being separated from their loved ones.  You don't want their future employment opportunities destroyed by laws that do harm.  It starts from a place of love.  It starts from a place of love. pax hominibus, agape to all, joel

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