Letter to the editor: 'Make marijuana legal...period'
August 11, 2010 - Dear editor,
I shake my head when I read editorials in The Lake Orion Review about keeping the "evil" marijuana out of our community.
Although I don't use marijuana, I was in full support of seeing it become legal for medicinal purposes. It can be very beneficial to those suffering from a variety of medical conditions.
Why not just make it legal….period. Let those who want it grow their own. No government bureaucracies regulating who gets it, how it's made, how it's taxed, no doctors making a buck in writing a prescription; just grow it if you want it. (and why you're at it, grow fresh fruits and vegetables and get away from all the "legalized" processed and fast food which is contributing to the obesity epidemic).
Marijuana was used for thousands of years before it became illegal in the 1930s.
Interestingly, the first American law regarding marijuana was written in 1619 and required farmers to grow Indian hempseed because it was considered a critical crop. Corporate conspiracy and racism were clearly involved with outlawing marijuana.
The wealthy Dupont family had a recent patent on nylon string and did not want the competition of the hemp rope, which was one of the stronger ropes of the time.
The wealthy news media family, Hearst, did not want the hemp paper in competition with timber-based paper, of which they had an investment.
But even more so, the hatred towards Mexicans and keeping them out of the U.S. and bigotry of other races played a large role in banning marijuana.
Harry Anslinger, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, played upon people's racist thoughts and fears in helping to outlaw cannabis.
Hearst newspapers reported affects of this evil, mind-altering drug (plant).
An example of how Anslinger played into people's racial fears are such quotes as, "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others." And, "Marijuana is an addictive drug which produce in its users insanity, criminality and death." The director of the American Medical Association of that time disagreed with the so-called "facts" Anslinger was spewing forth.
As a health care worker, it always amazed me how alcohol and cigarettes can be legal, and marijuana not.
I have seen much more illness and destruction caused by cigarettes and alcohol than marijuana, and if cannabis were legalized, I still believe more destruction would be caused by alcohol and cigarettes.
Some people are on so much anti-anxiety and pain medications, with bad side effects, using a little cannabis may do them some good, with fewer side effects.
Although drug companies have tried making a buck off of marijuana, and patenting such drugs as Marinol (marijuana derivative, to help stimulate appetite), I have heard from many cancer patients that smoking a marijuana cigarette works much better than any drug available in stimulating appetite, alleviating nausea, and just helping them feel better.
I not only support medical marijuana, I'll take it an "evil" step further and say just legalize it.
If it becomes legal there will definitely be those who abuse it, just as there are those who abuse alcohol. But there will also be those who use it responsibly, just as those who "drink responsibly."
For an interesting website on the history of marijuana, see http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/
Alcohol is just as "mind altering," if not more so, than marijuana.
One of the most addictive drugs available is a tobacco cigarette (ask anyone trying to quit).
The problem lies not in the "evilness" of marijuana, the problem lies when one over uses an unhealthy, alternative means to escape pain and reality.