The Marijuana legalisation debate has divided western society for decades, but now it has become reality. On the 1st of January this year, Colorado State in the USA officially allowed the opening of recreational Marijuana dispensaries. This marks the end of a blanket 70 year prohibition on the much loved psychoactive plant and also makes the Colorado State government the first in the world to formally regulate a recreational Marijuana industry. The expectation among some is that this move may pave the way for the removal of laws prohibiting its use and sale further across the United States and the world.
But as with the long history of debate on this topic a political consensus is of course absent with many voices slamming the moves by the Colorado State government. As is typical with all things political in nature, accurate information about the positive vs negative consequences of its use is extremely difficult to find. One only need to search through the ever growing list of studies, websites and uninformed political speak to find a clear set of health guidelines on its use is missing.
In the case of Colorado State, the recreational prohibition has only been lifted for those above the age of 21. This is for the obvious reason that there is well documented negative consequences from its recreational use, particularly on the bodies and minds of young people. Although impossible to fully enforce, the keeping of Marijuana out the hands of minors is handled through police enforcement. Unfortunately however, skewed and politicised information is impossible to be removed from consumption.
Recently a concerned mother sent Circus Bazaar a copy of a 400 word assignment her 15 year old son had written for school on the legalisation of Marijuana. It is known by the mother that the son was a regular smoker of the plant and she believes that he has become the victom of the very poor representation of Marijuana and its effects by popular culture and felt this needed public attention. (See below)
Marijuana is not as bad for you as either of the two socially legal drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol. 98% of drug related deaths are caused by these two drugs. Marijuana does not harm your liver and only moderately harms your lungs. Unlike Alcohol it doesn’t make you violent and unlike Alcohol and Tobacco it is not physically addictive. In thousands of years of use know one has ever died directly from the use of it.
It has over one thousand medicinal uses such as fiber made from the stem. This happens to be the strongest natural fiber known to man. It also creates more paper than normal trees and it grows three times faster so if it was legalized it would be good for the environment because it would stop wood chipping in the rain forests.
Because Marijuana is illegal it is ignored by the medical board. This is stupid because it has a few very good medical uses. It relieves painful symptoms of AIDS and Cancer. It also helps with nervous problems like MS. A very recognized one is that it makes you very hungry therefor helping people trying to deal with Anorexia.
Marijuana has a chemical in it called THC. This is what causes the effects. THC is actually present in the brain already. It causes our emotions such as being happy, sad or gloom. When an extra dose of THC is present in the brain due to smoking Marijuana it creates the effects. Because of this it is not a drug that to create effects must increase your heart rate to dangerous limits or excite your brain. It is quite safe.
If Marijuana was legalized people could refine it to make it safer. It would also be a good asset to the medical world in the treatment of some sicknesses.
– Identity withheld
It is overwhelmingly clear that the young 15 year old that wrote this small assignment has cherry picked a range of very disputed facts concerning the potential benefits of Marijuana. It is not surprising that these facts are the same ones that have largely circulated around the legalisation movement for decades. Politics aside, why has it become so excepted for even a young child with a pen to hold such a skewed and unbalanced view of Marijuana use?
Globally we have made leaps in our knowledge of other legalised drugs and there adverse affects. This to the point that it would be completely politically unacceptable for any person in a position of influence to trump the many positive effects of smoking Tobacco without first framing it in the massive death toll from indirect Cancers for example. The world is full of individuals that suffer the great number of adverse health consequences from smoking Marijuana, just the same as there are from Alcohol and Tobacco. But unlike Marijuana even the most fragile and impressionable members of our society are well informed enough on the health consequences not to dare hold views on them such as what is commonly seen among many of the worlds experimental youth.
With the full discloser that I personally support the legalisation of Marijuana its clear that the quality of information dissemination surrounding the adverse effects of Marijuana usage is far below the standards now expected surrounding Tobacco and Alcohol. After all, in the long term it is the negative consequences, not the positives that will come back to haunt us, the same way it has with Tobacco. What this young mans small piece of writing and other attitudes like it show is that without legalisation, information is much more easily bastardised. One hopes that over time (sooner rather than later) and through legalisation, that public consciousness and culture walks in lock step with the science and that this somehow is effectively trickled down to the most vulnerable members of the consuming public.
May it be that the next generation of exotic and much loved Marlboro men who were once the pin up boys for the incredibly successful Tobacco marketing campaigns of the past will one day lay in hospital beds regretting there choices the same way these fallen icons of the past did.