I will not make an economic argument. Our decisions about the welfare of our people with respect to medicine and well-being should not be made based on money.
I am for medical marijuana. Considering the multitude of harmful drugs present in our jacked-up medical system it is a safer alternative. It is morally imperative that we give the sick medicine that can help them maintain their pain, nausea, seizures and other symptoms in a manner severely less detrimental to their health. Even this anti-marijuana article from the Family Council does not remotely make the case against marijuana as a dangerous drug to consume. When compared to pills, cigarettes and alcohol, it seems that weed is responsible for far less deaths than any of these independently. We allow people to drive cars though some people abuse the right by speeding, driving while under the influence and using them as weapons. People with guns kill more than people with marijuana. It is morally wrong to permit these substances and activities and not allow marijuana for medical use.
This story from CBS shares some interesting information on the pill form of the marijuana, which I am in favor of in only appropriate circumstances. I would rather the vaporized method be used, followed by smoke and then by pill. This would make identification of users easier, which is important regarding illegal use (more on that later).
Correlation does not equal causation. Higher crime in the summer is caused by higher ice cream sales. This Time article cites a congressional report on that notion:
Patterns in progression of drug use from adolescence to adulthood are strikingly regular. Because it is the most widely used illicit drug, marijuana is predictably the first illicit drug most people encounter. Not surprisingly, most users of other illicit drugs have used marijuana first. In fact, most drug users begin with alcohol and nicotine before marijuana — usually before they are of legal age.
In the sense that marijuana use typically precedes rather than follows initiation of other illicit drug use, it is indeed a “gateway” drug. But because underage smoking and alcohol use typically precede marijuana use, marijuana is not the most common, and is rarely the first, “gateway” to illicit drug use. There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs.
I wholeheartedly believe that the gateway drug theory is no different than the one Professor Hill presents in the music man about the dangers of a pool table in River City. “Trouble with a capital “T” And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool!” It will not measurably increase the fritterin’ of our youths.
Increased Access and Education
In terms of illegal use of medical marijuana, it is beneficial that those who would normally seek out illegal medication to use would happen upon marijuana instead of pills. It is safer, less chance of overdose, and if vaporized or smoked, can easily be detected by anyone with a nose. As a former RA, I can attest to that fact.
The biggest successes in the fight against big tobacco has not been taxation, regulation and restriction but through education. We would be better off investing in education campaigns than unrealistic legislating and enforcement. It should be noted that I view unrealistic legislating and enforcement different from realistic legislating and enforcement that helps people get what they need and makes it harder to get for those who do not.
It is my personal view that the biggest problem facing our country today is gangs. These terrorist organizations make money through the elaborate distribution channels filled with violence that pours over to innocent lives getting caught in the crossfire. With increased access, gangs would lose a substantial revenue stream and the gang life would be less appealing to inner-city youths seeking income and decreasing deaths and imprisonment, which is justice for all people affected by gangs.
It is also more just for those with more dire judicial needs. So much of our time and energy in law enforcement is spent on dealing with minor marijuana violations that are prosecuted in overly harsh ways. Attention could be redirected into child-advocacy, ending slavery and ways to improve our justice system.