Legalizing Marijuana–Cha-Ching–Is It Really Such a Great Idea???


This is an incredibly personal post, and I will tell you up front that it’s not based on any scientific studies I’ve done on the pros and cons of marijuana. But my personal and observational experiences coincide with research done on the effects of marijuana, so it makes me a believer in that research. Child of the sixties that I am, I have a little bit of knowledge of marijuana. First of all, in case you weren’t aware, a big amendment on the table for Florida this fall is for the legalization of medicinal marijuana. I have to say that I have no experience with medicinal marijuana, nor do I know anyone who has used marijuana for an illness. Let’s face it, back in the sixties and seventies, you just didn’t light up a doobie to cure your glaucoma.

The reason I don’t believe in medical marijuana is because I think it simply opens the door for the legalization of recreational marijuana, and I think there’s enough scientific research out there that suggests marijuana is not the best thing for our brains. http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2013/12/marijuana-users-have-abnormal-brain-structure–poor-memory.html If you read this link, it says marijuana can actually change the shape of your brain–and not into something new and wonderful. Yikes!

I do know there are a great many people chomping at the bit to pass this amendment to legalize medicinal marijuana in Florida. My cynical guess is that a great many of these people are thinking ‘show me money’ as opposed to ‘let’s help these sick people.’ I’m not sure how many people are aware of the International Cannabis Association which is headed for New York City. Cannabis is one of the FASTEST growing industries in the US. Once again–Cha-Ching!

Okay, now I’m going to step back into some personal experiences with marijuana. Gulp!!! I used marijuana recreationally from the ages of seventeen until age twenty. These were not highly productive years for me; I had low grades in school, I lacked motivation, and I lost my first job. At age twenty, I started hanging out with different people who didn’t do drugs, so I stopped, and life got much better very quickly. Of course, I can’t prove marijuana was the sole, or even part of the cause of my problems, but my gut feeling says yes it was. Many of the people I hung out with during those ‘marijuana’ years had similar problems, and for those who advanced to harder drugs, things didn’t turn out well for them. I’m sure I’m not the only one who can name friends who died of drug overdoses.

Some people would argue and say marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol or cigarettes and that it doesn’t lead to experimentation with other drugs. Right now I’d like for you to do an informal survey of one in the privacy of your own home. If you’ve ever had a family member or other loved one who died because of cigarette-related diseases, raise your hand. If you’ve ever had a family member or other loved one who died because of alcohol-related illnesses, raise your hand. If you’ve ever tried marijuana and then tried another drug with the thought that it might make you feel even better, raise your hand. I don’t know about you, but I raised my hand on all three. And pay no attention to that family member who keeps staring at you and asking why you keep raising your hand.  LOL!

I have one last very personal experience I had with marijuana that still haunts me. When I was seventeen, I was very young and naïve and I was dating an ‘older’ guy. We were on a double-date with his friend and his pregnant wife. When my ‘mature’ boyfriend passed the marijuana to the pregnant girl, her husband said, “No, I don’t think she should smoke that.” My ‘cool’ boyfriend said. “Why, she’s just pregnant, not dead.” Even then I knew this wasn’t right, but I was too scared to say anything. This poor girl listened to the jacka@&. Twelve years later, after I had grown up considerably, I was substitute teaching this special needs class for reading, and yes, their son was in my class. It made me so angry, but of course it was too late for me to speak up. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3543-marijuana-use-in-pregnancy-damages-kids-learning.html#.U-aGtD90wdU  Perhaps that’s why I felt compelled to write this post now.

I honestly believe we need to consider whether the powerful initiative to legalize marijuana is in our best interests, because there are a great many studies out there that say, ‘no it’s not.’ Money and profit are extraordinary forces, and looking into the issue of legalization of marijuana, the biggest forces saying ‘yes!’ are the ones who stand to make tons of money from cannabis legalization. Cha-Ching!

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