Tag Archives: medical marijuana

The Case to Legalize Cannabis Completely, Once and For All

With the recent movement of states legalizing cannabis on a local level, many are now wondering when the call for ending prohibition nationwide will be finalized. Though there is still a sizable number that opposes legalization, I believe that they are impeding America’s progress on a number of fronts and I’ll explain these bit by bit. The first front I’d like to call attention to is the financial realm because I believe it holds the strongest potential to persuade folks to favor legalization. On this note, there are two main ways that legalizing marijuana would benefit Americans financially: taxes and investments.

Finances


I think we’ve all heard by now how Colorado and other states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, have brought in extra tax revenue to give well-needed funding to schools, corrections departments, etc. It’s really hard to argue against this point and I think that Democrats and Republicans, religious and non-religious, Whites and people of color alike, can all agree that extra tax revenue for programs such as schools is something we can all agree on. So I will not add more to that point. The second main point of the financial argument for legalizing cannabis is its potential for earning investors money. According to Arcview Market Research and its research partner BDS Analytics as reported by Forbes, the Cannabis market in North America alone is expected to reach $47.3 billion dollars by 2027. That is a more than five fold increase from $9.2 billion in 2017. It is also estimated in this same report that 67% of sales will come from recreational use (not that that matters when discussing the pure finances of it). These numbers are staggering and many people are recommending to invest in the Cannabis industry as the next “Google” or “Apple” of stocks. Though not everyone wants to be an investor (and that is absolutely fine), those of us who want to make money from this should be allowed to. On a personal note, it still perplexes me that this alone doesn’t convince more folks to hop on board, especially considering that many of the same people who still oppose it are staunch defenders of capitalism. On this same note, the main force that is preventing these companies from taking off even further is that most major banks cannot take money from the industry due to federal regulations. Banks of all institutions know the value of money and I would not be surprised to see them start to lobby Congress for a push to lift these regulations. There was recently a bill proposed in a subcommittee of Congress for this very purpose and according to Bloomberg, it is scheduled for a vote in the House next week (fingers crossed). Now that I’ve talked about the financial benefits of legalizing marijuana, I will cover the moral aspects that favor legalization.

Ethics

It may seem obvious, but prohibition on alcohol did not work. There is no single argument that would make cannabis any different in this regard. The strongest argument that I’ve heard when I talk about this is “well I don’t necessarily favor keeping alcohol legal either.” Okay, that’s a fair point but just like with any other “vice” in society (i.e. sex, drugs, liquor, etc.), people are going to do it anyways whether you like it or not, point blank period. It would make more sense for the government to at least put regulations on such substances so that minors do not have access and also to keep criminals such as drug cartels and black markets at bay. Next, I will cover the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant.

Medicinal

By now, I think we’ve all heard about the therapeutic benefits associated with cannabis and medical marijuana generally seems to be a far less controversial subject as opposed to recreational use. Just to give a few examples, it has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with nausea, seizures, arthritis, epilepsy, insomnia and multiple sclerosis just to name a few. The Harvard Medical Blog covers these in more details. Currently, 33 states offer some form of a medical marijuana program. Though medicinal use is far less controversial as previously mentioned, there are still more than 15% of Americans that oppose this, according to survey results from Pew Reseach. This is sickening considering that they’re okay with denying little children medicine to stop their seizures. Yes, this is a more extreme example but ultimately, that’s what this boils down to and I refuse to sugarcoat it.

Industrial Hemp

Hemp is something we’ve all heard of but few of us know much about it and its vast potential. According to a report compiled by the USDA, hemp has industrial use for clothing, oils and plastics, packaging, lotions, human and pet food, paper, construction materials and even bio-fuel. Though more restrictions on hemp have been lifted under the Trump administration under the new Farm Bill, it’s difficult to foresee the momentum continue without legalization of the entire plant. The reason I say this is that hemp and marijuana have a long history of intersectionality and have often been suppressed by the same groups and for similar reasons. For example, industrial hemp was used extensively in World War Two but soon was outlawed at the same time recreational cannabis was during the onset of the War on Drugs by Nixon. Though recreational marijuana was opposed on more moral grounds, these groups were often funded by large corporations that would have garnered a loss from the expansion of hemp (i.e. fossil fuel companies, lumber, etc.). This is detailed in a report on the history of Hemp by MIT.

All in all, there are many reasons to support the legalization of cannabis and end its prohibition once and for all. Whether you want to make extra money, garner extra funding for schools, help sick people get the medicine they need, support more sustainable industries or simply relax and have a good time, there is a reason for all of us to support this measure. With this in mind, though it may seem obvious, you don’t need to consume the plant yourself to benefit from its legalization. I hope you find this informative and helpful in making a decision on whether to support or oppose the legalization of cannabis. For a more comprehensive report with objective standpoints from experts in drug policy-making (the Drug Policy Alliance), please click here.

Thank you reading and feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions,

-David

CBD in MN

Cannabidiol—CBD  is a chemical compound in cannabis that is beneficial from a medical standpoint. It gives people the medical benefits of cannabis, without getting the “high” or “stoned” feeling. CBD is still paving way for acceptance but has still has a stigma since it derives from the marijuana plant.

There has been tons of testing done on the benefits of CBD especially when we talk about seizures and general body inflammation. The major break through right now with Minnesota Medical Solutions is that they have developed a more potent strain of marijuana to extract CBD from. This is a vital procedure because it cuts production costs by making it easier to produce the plants, and making it cheaper to refine CDB from. Since Minnesota is one of the most restrictive states with medical marijuana it is a great opportunity to get rid of another obstacle standing in the way of patients in need of medicine that isn’t as harsh, and  providing an alternative solution to their medical needs.

Image from: https://grandvalleyhempinfusions.com/what-is-cbd/

From my point of view on CBD, if there is a medical solution with out experiencing the intoxicating aspects of marijuana it should be used medically. It has very minimal or close to none side effects and can help a large sum of our population. Obviously we still have a long journey on the way to legalization on both state and federal levels, but having medical CBD available is a step closer to legalization.

PDF on CBD testing results: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1250/8949/files/GRLabSheetPacketOctober.pdf?12689755168953608911/

StarTribune Article: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-medical-marijuana-manufacturer-hopes-new-plant-will-push-down-prices/362716951/

Minnesota Medical Solutions website: http://minnesotamedicalsolutions.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Fox News Doctor Must be High

Of all the blog tasks given to me in class this semester, this was the most challenging. “Find something to criticize.” The sheer volume of B.S. on the internet made it hard to choose just one.

I decided to go for an easy target — Fox News. I watched my fair share of Fox News during the Bush years. It was a great place to gauge points of view contrary to my own. Like being a fly on the wall of my metaphorical political enemy’s bunker.

Running the issues of the day through my head, I wanted something current and relevant.

How about medical marijuana?

Here is an issue I clearly come down on one side of, and I base that decision on the scientific evidence available to us all.  Medical marijuana is safe and effective. I had a feeling that Fox News would take the opposite approach, and boy was I right.

I found an instance of a Fox News “Medical A-Team” member, Dr. David Samadi associating marijuana with heart attacks and crack babies. That’s right — “crack babies.”

I can only assume he means “infants born addicted to crack cocaine” but if he does, it certainly makes no sense to pin the blame on pot. Here is an excerpt of his comments:

We’re seeing in Colorado that we had 13 kids that came to the emergency and ended up in the ICU as a result of overdose from marijuana. Now we have crack babies coming in because pregnant women are smoking this whole marijuana business.

Many bloggers, commenters and journalists have already pointed out the flaws in this asinine argument. One Reddit commentator summarized the views of Fox News’ medical staff:

  • Crack babies are apparently not caused by crack.
  • Death is apparently not a good way to measure if something is dangerous.
  • Some kids OD’d on marijuana which is crazy because he’s the only person in the world they told and that also defies every experiment done in the last 50 or so years. So he should release an actual report or something.
  • Which might be hard because he’s a urologist and has almost literally nothing to do with any medical field that should actually be reporting on cannabis.

Needless to say, my conclusion matches that of the commenter above, though I may not ever be able to state it so eloquently. Let me just say that Fox News, as they often do, had someone commenting way out of their depth about an issue they do not understand.

It’s hard to say if it is ignorance, bias or some ulterior motive. When journalistic standards are so low, it truly could be anything. Consume Fox News at your own peril.

80 Years Later… Prohibition and a Country of Hypocrites

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December 5th marked the 80th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition and the ratification of the 18th amendment of the Constitution. The prohibition of alcohol lasted a total of 13 years starting in 1920. During this time it was illegal to sell, produce, import, or transport alcohol anywhere in the United States. Prohibition was an extremely controversial issue that divided the nation and changed how Americans view their rights under the constitution. Looking back, “The Great Experiment” was seen as a huge failure. Crime rates went up, tax revenue went down, and most Americans fell into one of three categories: dry, wet, or hypocrites.

The 21st amendment ended the national prohibition of alcohol, but more importantly, it gave individual states the right of implementing their own prohibition, on their own terms. This means that every state could have its own laws regulating the sales and production of alcohol. Mississippi was the last state to repeal prohibition in 1966. Until as late as 1987 it was illegal in the state of Kansas to sell liqour  by the drink on premises, which meant no bar hopping. Today, 8% of America is still dry, there are countless towns and counties across the US where the sale of alcohol is still illegal.

With each state having it’s own alcohol laws, lawmakers are able to tailor the laws to fit the wants of their constituents.  Perhaps that is why Wisconsin can sell alcohol at grocery stores and gas stations, while Minnesotan lawmakers choose not to allow this. This is the same reason why Minnesotans have to drive over to Wisconsin to buy beer on Sundays. For a while, the legal drinking age was also different from state to state. In one state the legal age could be 18, while a neighboring state could have set it at 21, it was the right of the state to choose.

Today, many states are reexamining the other “Great Experiment”, the prohibition of Marijuana. 21 states and Washington D.C., have now passed laws legalizing the use of Marijuana in some form. Washington state and Colorado have passed laws to legalize recreational Marijuana for adult use. So where are we going from here? Should the federal government stop regulating marijuana and leave it up to each state? 21 states have already made their own laws despite the federal government’s stance on the issue, is it safe to say that we are heading towards the legalization of marijuana around the rest of the country? At what point should the federal government just give up on enforcement?

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/state-marijuana-laws-map-medical-recreational.html

http://geekologie.com/2012/03/where-not-to-visit-the-us-guide-to-dry-c.php

http://www.marinij.com/lifestyles/ci_24656147/barfly-prohibition-is-over-well-almost.html