Warring on Some Drugs

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An irony of the War on Some Drugs is that legal drugs – most notoriously, the pain medication oxycodone – are more of an objective threat to people’s health than illegal ones like marijuana, which can be used to treat the same conditions, but without the life-threatening (and ending) downsides.

Opioids – which are derived from opium – are often prescribed as painkillers. They’re effective, but the downside is they are enormously addictive. And – unlike marijuana – they can literally kill you.

Marijuana is also a very effective pain killer – but without the lethal downsides.

It is impossible to “OD” on pot.

Or even to become addicted.

The worst thing that might happen is a bad case of the munchies – which is why marijuana is frequently used (and prescribed, in states where it’s legal) as an appetite stimulant for people undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer. It’s also very effective as a treatment for glaucoma; it reduces intra-ocular eye pressure – but without the problems of physical addiction or the potential to end up dead from an overdose.

These are among the reasons for the decriminalization of medical marijuana by several states, most notably Colorado and California.

It’s hard to understand why any reasonable person could object.

If the argument is that marijuana can be abused, that argument applies even more to legal opioids, such as Oxycontin (the brand name for the opioid oxycodone). As an article in U.S. News by Adrianne Wilson Poe noted, “Opioid addiction . . .  kills 115 people a day, more than gun violence or traffic accidents.”

As opposed to no people killed – ever – by medical marijuana.

Poe also cites the estimated $500 billion annually that opioid abuse costs the U.S. economy.

Whereas medical marijuana costs the U.S. economy . . .  nothing.

Well, excluding the money wasted on Inspector Javert-like persecution of medical marijuana users. In states that have ceased such prosecutions and passed laws permitting medical (and even recreational) marijuana, not only has money be saved that would otherwise been wasted on arresting, prosecuting and caging people for using marijuana to alleviate their chronic, often debilitating pain and to treat serious medical problems without resorting to the use of dangerous opioids – money has been generated for local and state governments via the taxes collected on now-legal medical/recreational marijuana.

The state of Colorado – which legalized medical marijuana back in 2000 and recreational marijuana in 2014  – collects about $200 million annually in taxes/licenses and other fees.

California anticipates a $1billion annual windfall from the sale of legal medical/recreational marijuana.

And if the Feds got out of the Inspector Javert business, and marijuana use were legal in all 50 states, more than $132 billion in tax revenue would be available, according to a recent Washington Post article by Katie Zezima, which cited a study by New Frontier Data analytics.

All without having to raise taxes on people who don’t use marijuana.

So what’s the hang up?

There are two.

One is the personal animosity toward marijuana of the current attorney general, Jeff Sessions. It cuts no mustard with him, apparently, that marijuana has numerous legitimate medical uses and could even be used to combat some of the deadly problems associated with the abuse of legal opioids such as Oxycontin.

Nor that marijuana doesn’t kill anyone – unlike opioids.

Sessions is in his early 70s and like many of his generation, grew up in the “Reefer Madness” era, believing that marijuana is much more dangerous than it actually is. He seems immune to reason on the subject – and is even threatening to resume federal-level marijuana prosecutions, specifically targeting states that have legalized medical (and recreational) marijuana – if he can get around a funding limitation imposed by California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher which has so far stymied him.

The “Rohrabacher Amendment,” passed back in 2014, forbids the use of any money budgeted by Congress for the Department of Justice’s operations to be used for purposes of going after medical marijuana dispensaries or users, in states that have legalized this. But Sessions has been demanding the power – and the money – to resume his personal War on Some Drugs.

Hopefully, he won’t get it.

President Trump isn’t enthusiastic – and has even publicly stated on numerous occasions that he supports medical marijuana.

He is, on the other hand, very much opposed to opioid abuse. Hopefully, he will see the merit of using marijuana to address this much more serious problem.

But there’s another problem – and it could be the real reason behind this War on Some Drugs:

Medical marijuana threatens to undermine the profits of the Big Pharma cartels. Leaving aside the deadly serious issues of addiction and overdosing, billions are on the line.

It may well be that the Warring on Some Drugs comes down to dollars and cents.

Regardless, it no longer makes sense.

It isn’t necessary for one to approve of marijuana to acknowledge it has valid medical properties – and it’s cruel to target people whose suffering can be alleviated by those properties for criminal prosecution.

It’s also an affront to the constantly tub-thumped “democratic principles” the country is allegedly based upon.

The states which have legalized medical (and recreational) marijuana have done so in accordance with the expressed will of the people living in those states. What gives the federal government – one man, Jeff Sessions – the moral right to countermand the will of those millions of people?

Libertarians, of course, go a step farther. They hold that no one has the moral right to interfere with the personal choices made by individuals regarding their own health – or their recreations – provided they’re not harming anyone else in the process.

But even if you’re not a Libertarian, it’s hard not to have a problem with the War on Some Drugs.

 . . .

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13 COMMENTS

  1. The US feels like the Twilight zone today.

    The elites are destroying the USA through debt, wars, and tyranny and Americans either don’t know or do not want to know.

    Most of those who are awake either think Fascism is the American way or think that Communists never killed anyone.

    When the US collapses and the revolution starts will Americans kill the politicians, police, soldiers, Jews, billionaires, reporters, actors, liberals, Muslims, blacks, feminists, or illegal aliens? Everyone?

    Americans seem to sense that they are on the Titanic.

    If you go outside today, you’ll see that many Americans look shell-shocked.

    The homeless look broken.

    The young people look either ignorant, sullen, or apathetic.

    Girls are either fat or sluts.

    White men are often either angry, silent, or have a sense of humor.

    White-collar bankers, stockbrokers, and insurance agents seem to have fake laughs.

    Some preppers seem to think they will be safe when the shit hits the fan because the USA is a big country, but being a large nation didn’t stop the USSR from being locked down. Modern times are even worse than the Cold War because of surveillance cameras and satellites and there are no more free countries to flee to.

    Maybe the only hope we have is that either the ruling class becomes sane soon or the 1% manages to kick the debt can down the road for another 50 years.

    https://forum.full30.com/c/general

  2. It isn’t a utopia out here in the Wild West of Colorado, but the consensus is that legalization has been a success. Even though the law puts severe restrictions on pot operations, there are very large operations using loopholes (such as advertising their “property management” company). And there are still major problems with banks worried about the federal regulators shutting them down. And there’s still opioid addiction.

    But on the upside, plenty of pot tourists bring money into some of the small towns, and teenage pot use is down because it’s no longer cool

    • I think we know why it is illegal. It would otherwise be free to very cheap and undermine the medical and tree harvesting industries. Industrial hemp despite not having the ability to make anyone high is banned with it.

    • My cranky Heifer Lawyer( whom I was stupid enough to waste a $1000.00 on) said ,nah ,nah,nah all the young drugheads claimed Pot was their gateway drug( Bullshit it was probably Red Bull or cigarettes) She didn’t realize the little snips were telling Her what She wanted to hear’
      Here now , I call Bullshit on the Pot gateway fiasco !

  3. “Land of Smiles”, a 1/12th oz of good bud got Me facing 25 years in the “Hoosegow” , fortunately, I had a literal courtroom full of good outstanding and somewhat influential Folks backing Me up.
    I think the old Judge was somewhat cowed by the character witnesses and claimed His hands were tied by the
    Minimum mandatory bullshit( I pulled a little less than 2 yrs, my risk assessments were so low I think I finally ended up with a one or some ridiculously low number,( still a Felon though) the CA who was vigorously persecuting Me had the past Reputation of being one of the biggest “Hard Drug” abusers in the area. Many Folks told Me If I had these charges a couple of counties to the West ,I would have faced something like a parking ticket fine, I figure the whole charade cost Me and my Wife something on the order of $45,000.00 (USD) when it was said and done.
    One reason I dropped the Republican Party altogether was that a democrat got my Civil Rights restored( I can even legally own a gun again) the only downside was I became eligible for Jury Duty once again.
    One of the biggest lies and brakes on Societal evolution , is the fallacy that prohibition works.

  4. Anybody try the New Nachos from Taco Bell yet? Suspicious timing at best on their release date here in Kalifonia.

    As far as weed. I was in line at the P.O. here in town a while back and the gent behind engaged me in conversation. He noticed my FRB’s were too heavy to lift and seemed overjoyed to hear I was shipping Bullets for reloading. Turns out he’s a Libertarian and went down the list in trying to locate me in the political spectrum. He seemed fluxed if not outright perplexed when he got to drugs only to hear me state I could care less what one ingests/inhales, none of my business, don’t care. My rule in life is simple —-Live and let live as one sees fit as long as nobody’s rights are violated no offense has occurred.

    Of a TRUTH – – – One is not truly FREE unless he is allowed to make decisions in doing things that are bad for himself.

  5. I’ve always maintained that Big Pharma is the driving force behind opposition to marijuana, medical or otherwise. They can’t patent it and have exclusive rights so they push their opioid poison instead. My state just passed a referendum legalizing weed and I plan on planting some whether I use it or not. The gunvermin actually has no business telling anyone what they can put in their own body, if I want to take cyanide that’s still none of their damn business. Jeff Sessions can bite my shiny metal ass.

  6. When it’s legalized, we will quickly see Big Pharma grabbing a very large share of the weed market. It’s probably why they oppose it at the moment, as they haven’t gotten all their ducks lined up to take control of most of it. When they do, see them quickly “change” their minds.

    The result will likely be, legal weed will be expensive with big pharma and high taxes making it so. We already see some of this, as legal weed is far more expensive (taxes can be up to about 25%). Police still arrest drug dealers in “legal” states who aren’t ever going to be able to be licensed. So lower income people will still get arrested for it even after “legalization”.

    • rich, Monsanto and Bayer are already setting the groundwork to take of the pot industry. After all, just plain old CBD oil is making huge inroads because it’s effective and even good for your body.

      Just yesterday I read Tramadol has taken the throne of being the most deadly drug in the country. I don’t doubt it since it’s easy to prescribe and the stuff has some really bad side effects. It would take a few people to hold me down and get one in me. I’m allergic as hell to the stuff….as a great many people are turning out to be.

  7. Just more evidence of corporate/government crony-capitalism. These hypocrites do not care about the public, only their “public” image, and their bank accounts. Rest assured, they get whatever they want, wherever they are, whenever they want it, no ifs, ands, or buts. The “powers that be” are just a suit & tie clad gang of outlaws with badges.

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