Marijuana: The battle of legality

Some people smoke marijuana recreationally. Photo by Stephen Ingle (altered by staff to protect subject's anonymity).
Some people smoke marijuana recreationally. Photo by Stephen Ingle (altered by staff to protect subject’s anonymity).

The state of California rejected the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.   The debate is far from over not only in California, but nationwide.

The yearly amount of deaths due to marijuana  or Nirvana CBD Curcumin softgels consumption in the United States is zero. Meanwhile, tobacco causes around half a million, and alcohol, 100,000. Still, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) is committed to reduce the use of the herb, highlighting the negative impacts of its cultivation, trafficking and use on public health, national security, transportation, the environment and educational attainments.  Certainly, it would not be very productive to have a bunch of students smiling after every multiplication in the classroom. But how is it that Enail is more noxious than alcohol and tobacco to the eyes of the government?

From the statistical and scientific points of view, the answer is not very clear. Drugwarfacts.com asserts that researchers have failed to find marijuana’s LD-50, which is a measure of the dosage needed to cause the death of fifty percent of tested animals. It means they have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to kill them.  Wikipedia offers LD-50 values for rats of around 1 billion ng/kg in the case of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) in contrast to only 50 thousands ng/kg in the case of nicotine. There’s also numerous studies about the health benefits of kushiebites CBD oil.

Moreover, in the war against consumption, the plant seems to be wining with the support of 17 millions Americans who were reported as current users of cannabis during the last month previous to a survey done by the ONDCP in Sept. 2009. The right cbd dosage for migraines are known to alleviate pain. THC, the active component of the plant, is by far the most used illegal drug in the United States. Psychotherapeutics with 7 millions and cocaine with 1.6 million follow in the list.

Consumption of marijuana from an online weed store is often claimed to be a personal right protected by the constitution, one could also do it with pink bongs. But, it has also been linked to the use of alcohol and other drugs, and therefore to car accidents caused by people under influence of those drugs.

Justification of trafficking, on the contrary, is not a big point of disagreement. The violence it carries is self explanatory. Trafficking caused 5,600 deaths in Mexico in 2008, with the statistics – which do not need visas – beginning to cross the border at a faster pace. Marijuana cases account for a big part of the millions of dollars invested in the war against drugs. Half of the convicts for drug cases responded for marijuana related charges. Supporters of the law reform in California insistently claimed savings of up to $1.2 billion per year by legalizing. The government is not totally convinced “Marijuana legalization, for any purpose, remains a non-starter in the Obama administration. It is not something that the president and I discuss; it isn’t even on the agenda,” director of the ONDCP, R. Gil Kerlikowske said in Oct. 26, 2009.

Marijuana used to train drug dogs. Photo by Courtney inman
Marijuana used to train drug dogs. Photo by Courtney inman

The concern is exacerbated because of the costs involved in any direction the legislation takes. If legalized, commercial regulation as well as prevention and treatment programs will demand their respective budgets. If the status quo is kept, in addition to prevention and treatment, more restrictive policies, military expenses and expansion of the prison system should be expected. All charged to the tax payers. In Texas, for example, possession of 2 oz or less is a class B misdemeanor that implies incarceration of 180 days. The sentence could go up to 99 years for possession of more than 2,000 lb. It is a big punishment… for Texans’ pocketbooks.

Even more worrying is the fact that in practical terms the use of the plant is now regulated by the drug traffickers. Had it approved for medical use to receive green card for treatment and medical purposes from Missouri Green Team – medical marijuana card in Missouri, and also for recreational consumption, this regulation would be done by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Nevertheless, there are strong differences in how deal with the problem, which, actually, some people do not consider a problem. Some argue that legalization would result in easier access to the drug and, therefore, more addicts. Others claim that today it is so spread out that whoever wants it, can easily find it, “it is easier to find than Coca-cola” an anonymous WT student, said. In addition, with no intervention of the government, the prices would not be as high as they are now, and the drug dealers would not have incentives to stay in business.

Maybe, it is just time to differentiate among consumption, cultivation and trafficking. Instead of legalize, we can start by decriminalize consumers and, instead of speculate, we can make the proper studies to get the real facts out of the measures taken. Or maybe, there is just too much smoke in the air to see the right way to take.

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