Are the last gasps of Reefer Madness coming to an end or will the insanity continue?

Are the last gasps of Reefer Madness coming to an end or will the insanity continue?

Washington : DC : USA | Jun 30, 2012 at 3:11 PM PDT
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MSNBC: Rewriting legalization of marijuana

The issue of legalizing marijuana both recreationally and medicinally has been covered from many angles, with an abundance of media coverage in recent years from alternative as well as mainstream sources. The pro-voices continue to grow, with support from conservatives joining the chorus; heck even Pat Robertson supports legalization. The smokescreen of lies that the Executive Branch continues to perpetuate is rapidly dissipating.

The White House continues to maintain that marijuana is bad, and while Obama said the issue of legalization is worth debate, the administration considers it a moot topic. The issue of marijuana being a health risk and the warnings about the dangers of smoking it are being disproven, and the many benefits of cannabis are coming to light.

Paul Armentano, Deputy Director, NORML, posted this piece:

Recent Research on Medical Marijuana

"There exists little if any scientific basis to justify the federal government's present prohibitive stance and there is ample scientific and empirical evidence to rebut it. Despite the U.S. government's nearly century-long prohibition of the plant, cannabis is nonetheless one of the most investigated therapeutically active substances in history. To date, there are over 20,000 published studies or reviews in the scientific literature pertaining to the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids, nearly one-third of which were published within the last three years."

One of the arguments used by the anti-marijuana zealots is smoking is just plain bad, although there are also the options of vaporizing or eating cannabis based food or tinctures/oil. A recent study found that moderate smoking of cannabis, however, was not harmful to the lungs.

When you look back at how marijuana became illegal, it is not hard to believe that a conspiracy was behind it, with hemp being the real target, as speculated in the bible on the history of cannabis & hemp, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, by Jack Herer. An account of the conspiracy even made its way into an episode of Family Guy.

The myths of pot making people zoned-out zombies and damaging the brain are also being disproven, with one of the surprising areas of research being the use of cannabis to ward off Alzheimer's. Another topic that has garnered a fair amount of attention is that cannabis is beneficial to creativity.

From a Psychology Today post by V. Krishna Kumar, Ph.D. in Psychology:

Cannabis and Creativity, Should drugs be used to facilitate creativity?

"It was interesting to find a study on the effects of smoking cannabis on creativity. Schafer and colleagues reviewed literature suggesting that the effects of cannabis on creativity have not been extensively studied nor are the mechanisms by which it stimulates creativity well understood. However, they suggested that cannabis produces psychotomimetic symptoms, which in turn might lead to connecting seemingly unrelated concepts, an aspect of divergent thinking considered primary to creative thinking. A drug induced altered state of mind may indeed lead to breaking free from ordinary thinking and associations, thereby, increasing the likelihood of generating novel ideas or associations."

Here's an exceprt from a great piece from The Huffington Post by Jason Silva which has many quotes from various writers:

On Creativity, Marijuana and "a Butterfly Effect in Thought"

"Marijuana enhances our ability to marvel: In some mysterious and uncannily recurring way, marijuana can induce an almost 'synesthetic ecstasy,' whereby a loosening of the usually firm borders that separate our five senses allows for a broader, deeper, more profound, and often time-dilated "interpretation" and "internalization" of moment-to-moment experience." -- Jason Silva

There is also the issue of the forces who don't want to see weed legalized.

From Republic Report:

Why Can’t You Smoke Pot? Because Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of the War on Drugs

"Police unions aren’t the only interest group with a stake in maintaining broken drug laws. The beer industry, alcohol corporations, and prison guard unions also contributed money to help stop Prop 19.* Howard Wooldridge, a retired police officer who now helps push for legalization as a citizen advocate, told Republic Report that drug company lobbyists also fight to keep marijuana illegal because they view pot as a low-cost form of competition."

*The 2010 California measure to legalize marijuana and tax it as alcohol.

I don't understand why the alcohol and drug companies would view the legalization of marijuana as a major threat. If it were legalized, the prices would drop and people who are regular users (who also drink), will have a slightly higher disposable income so they could splurge more on alcohol if so desired.

As far as the argument that the drug companies wouldn't be able to profit off pot, since it can't be patented (and people could grow their own), there is the prospect of developing special strains for specific conditions, so feasibly, they should be able to patent medicinal strains of cannabis.

One of the problems of the legalization movement, has been the issue of a lack of unity and consensus on specifics on how legalization should be legislated as far as it being taxed and regulated. This was a main reason Prop 19 failed in California, due to its wording.

There needs to be a compromise on this issue and if legalization comes to states across the nation, an ideal situation would be to tax sales of marijuana bought for recreational use and don't tax sales on medical marijuana. Have a grow your own option for both recreational & medicinal users with the requirement of a license with the medicinal fee being a lower rate. Persons growing their own for personal use (and minor sharing with friends) would be limited in the number of plants they can grow, and persons who wish to grow commercially would pay a higher fee based on production. Just as only a small percentage of beer drinkers brew their own, many cannabis users, will be happy to buy from a licensed vendor or store.

"Let our people go. Let our people grow.
And never allow our politicians to again impose such fanatical prohibition laws against any natural substance in its natural form.

Cannabis-hemp is the greatest plant on Earth!"
--Jack Herer


If you like to write about U.S. politics and Campaign 2012, enter "The American Pundit" competition. Allvoices is awarding four $250 prizes each month between now and November. These monthly winners earn eligibility for the $5,000 grand prize, to be awarded after the November election.

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A man smokes marijuana during a rally to demand the legalization of marijuana in Toronto
A man smokes marijuana during a rally to demand the legalization of marijuana in Toronto
PaulHorton is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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