REFLECTIONS

Posted on June 11, 2010

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STATES LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

We live in a time that merits a new edition of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, “Charles Mackay’s classic 1841 study of human follies and frenzies, including witch hunts, alchemy, and bursting financial bubbles.

Today I classify legalizing medical marijuana in 14 states as a human folly. But look about you and you will see plenty evidence to support all of Mackay’s theories. So there is nothing new under the sun.

And the delusion now in full bloom is the movement to legalize marijuana which is sweeping the country without significant care or consideration on the part of the government, the medical and scientific community or the public.

With California leading the way, 14 states have legalized medical marijuana, and 11 others are considering doing so. In Los Angeles there are over 600 marijuana dispensaries alone. Hucksters stand outside to lure in new clients.                                                                                                                                                     Soon Missouri will be caught up in this movement.

This rampaging weed of a public policy seems eerily immune to the kind of scientific testing and review routinely accorded to the regulation of food and medicine. You would think marijuana, classified as a federal Schedule 1 drug, or one with a high potential for abuse an “no currently accepted medical use” would get special scrutiny before it’s approval as medicine in our states.

I do not propose denying medical marijuana to those in chronic pain from cancer, AIDS, or other ailments providing those suffering have a doctor’s prescription.

Today’s pot is far stronger than the weed that gave young boomers a buzz. Those seeking pain relief from a few puffs of marijuana can experience anxiety, panic and hallucinations.

While there is limited evidence to support marijuana’s medical benefits, there is plenty evidence confirming its dangers. Also, marijuana use often leads to the use of more powerful, illegal drugs.There has been a significant increase in marijuana user visits to emergency rooms over the past 15 years.

Pot messes with your head and impairs short term memory, verbal skills, judgment and perception. Anyone who has talked to a pothead will testify to that.

Let us keep marijuana illegal in Missouri, and we need to encourage the federal government to test and regulate medical marijuana.

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