No reason to legalize recreational marijuana

November 1, 2018

Dear Editor,

The state of Michigan already has legalized medical marijuana – so are there any valid reasons to legalize recreational marijuana? After all, recreational marijuana is used solely for the purpose of getting ‘high’.

Marijuana (cannabis) is composed of over 100 different chemicals- only two being fairly well researched. THC is the chemical component that produces the ‘high’ recreational users desire, while CBD is the chemical thought to eliminate pain, nausea, and inflammation. When separated out, it could be a useful drug medicinally. Can your average backyard grower effectively separate these chemicals? I wouldn’t trust it.

Some offer the increased tax revenue legal recreational marijuana would provide as a reason to vote affirmatively on Proposition 1. Most likely, the proposed 16% tax would cause the product’s sales to be driven onto the black market, as it would push up the price. Also, it is thought that the extra cost in regulation, enforcement, increased vehicular accidents and other crime would probably offset any tax income gained.

There are those who claim it should be qualified for use both medicinally and recreationally, as it is a natural drug coming from a plant. While it does occur naturally in a plant, so are many other drugs commonly used and sold. For instance, Foxglove is a beautiful garden flower that produces Digitalis, an old and trusted cardiac medication. Would I trust myself or my neighbor to harvest it, then designate and prepare the correct dosage? Absolutely not. The main ingredient of Aspirin was originally derived from willow bark – would you want to consume it without the assurance of a consistent dose? Probably not.

Shouldn’t marijuana be produced in laboratories staffed by qualified chemists and scientists tasked with formulating the dosage, and ensuring the quality and purity of the end product? Would you want any medication produced by an amateur? Would it be sprayed with pesticides or laced with a more potent drug for the purpose of producing a desire/need for a more addicting drug? (There are examples of this happening across the country.) It is something to consider.

Marijuana can be addicting- just ask those who work in drug rehab or mental health wards. Do we want a ‘recreational’ drug on American shelves waiting for accidental consumption by children or pets? This would undoubtedly happen if the drug is placed in brownies, cookies, and candies. (Incidentally, Colorado veterinarians have reported an increase in marijuana toxicosis in dogs, resulting in illness, comas, and in some cases, even death.).
Before voting on Tuesday, I encourage every voter to expand their knowledge of the cannabis drug.

Ask health care providers and local law enforcement officers about their work experience with this mind affecting drug.

What is the impact on the brain of developing babies and children?

Make a simple internet search for “hazards of marijuana”.

Research the positives and negatives of legalized marijuana in states such as Colorado.
Read the proposal carefully in its entirety, as it has numerous implications as written; such as: “the user is forbidden to sell the drug to children.” What about giving it to children?
By law, citizens can be held accountable for giving tobacco or alcohol to minors, so why not cannabis?

This is a complicated proposal, so vote carefully and responsibly. See you at the polls.

Barbara Lambdin

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