Marijuana and Medicine
Every year on April 20th aka 420, regardless of whether I smoke or not, one thing comes to mind, National Weed Day. That’s right on 420 Afroman’s “Because I Got High” is blasted around dorm rooms, in cars and just pulsating through the airwaves as pot heads around America light up in celebration of marijuana. Is it legal? Nope. Last year I wrote about where the holiday of 420 came from. This year I want to take a look at marijuana, in the media and the minds of those who have chosen to love it, hate it or just plain accept it as a part of our society.
Marijuana also known as cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States according to DrugAbuse.gov. Now they chose to use the word abused, however I chose the word used because I believe more people use marijuana than abuse it. Why? Well sure I have smoked the drug, it’s been almost 4-5 years since my last puff, but you have to really work pretty hard to abuse the drug if you ask me. Derived from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa,
marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves. There are many different categories of the drug out there on the streets, such as regs (the cheap stuff that I remembered giving me a headache), hydro (the stuff that ran average price and gave you a nice pleasant stone), black widow, white widow, ice, sour diesel, and more. In fact these different types of marijuana are known as strains and there is an entire guide on Types of Marijuana.
I must sound like a real pothead huh? Well if you missed it before the last time I smoked was the summer of the release of the Dark Knight. I had just had knee surgery and I was sober for the first time in a month, seeing as I did not do anything for the pain but smoke weed, because I was against taking pills. Why am I sharing this? Because I have been on both sides of the issue of marijuana. I see the medicinal value of legalizing the drug, but yet I see the morons who choose to disregard their responsibilities and am too high to realize the life that is passing them by. I have been both of those people. Therefore I am not afraid to share this now, 4 years later, in hopes that people realize that just like anything else, marijuana can be good, in moderation, for those who need it for medicinal purposes.
Sitting in the movie theatre I watched the entire movie sober, for the first time in a while. Do I find any reason to smoke marijuana now? No. Obviously I believe there are people who should seriously look in the mirror and reevaluate their lives and choices of how much they smoke weed, but that is not my business, seeing as some people could argue that I shouldn’t be taking medicine for ADHD or Crohn’s because who knows what is in man made drugs.
I hit up my Facebook friends to find out what they thought about the holiday of 420, and marijuana. Here is what some of them had to say:
“For most of human history, marijuana has been completely legal. It’s not a recently discovered plant, nor is it a long-standing law. Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use. Its known uses go back further than 7,000 B.C. and it was legal as recently as when Ronald Reagan was a boy.
Harry J. Anslinger
Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.
Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from “Gore Files” — wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and… Negroes.
It’s all a political ploy… It keeps the jails full of cheap labor and exerts control over people. There is serious money to be made keeping it illegal. It keeps judges, politicians, cops, jails, wardens and the whole support system employed. Never mind the dealers… It’s total bull shit!!
Since you own your own body no one should be able to tell you what you can put in it, on it, to it!! The whole drug war is ridiculous!!!”-LH
“I remember that in 2010 I voted to legalize marijuana in California, proposition 19, and I don’t even smoke. I remember that all my pot head friends didn’t even realize it was voting day or about the bill. I remember how close we were to passing the bill. Now all I know is that most pot heads are f’ing idiots and will continue to ramble on about weed, health benefits and the conspiracies of the man until their pipes are empty when they had the chance to solve all their problems with a 5min trip to their local voting booth. Idiots.” – Garett Martocello
“I’ve been through trial and error of SO many anti anxiety medications and for years never found one that works. My anxiety was so bad I was becoming physically sick whenever an attack would arise, I had trouble breathing around large groups of people, and eventually even being at home by myself triggered a feeling of needing to just escape. Sure I could go outside for fresh air, but it didn’t always calm my body or my mind down. The only medication that ever worked for me was marijuana. I no longer felt nauseated, I was much more calm and could function in school without my mind running away from me in panic. It’s hard to describe anxiety, and I know a lot of people don’t get it, or think its b.s. …but its the only thing that helped me feel well enough to re-enroll in high school after dropping out, and as a result, I finished with a regents diploma. There’s a lot of other factors that played into my particular situation, but if I had continued to drown in my anxiety and developing depression due to anxiety, I probably wouldn’t even have a simple GED, or far worse, I wouldn’t even be here because the panic attacks were so intense. I normally don’t divulge such personal information, but I feel like it could help provide some insight if you are researching, and I feel that people need to know that not everybody just uses marijuana recreationally, some legitimately use it medically. And not everybody that smokes a joint is going to be so bombed that they act as though they just drank half a bottle of sailor Jerry. Its a tough issue, and I don’t think it should be legal for just anybody like cigarettes, but for medical use for certain people, I am all for it.” -Alicia Uryevick
Alright so here you have it, just some insights on marijuana and how it has been strewn across the media. Now I am sure I will get someone who says well you’re a pothead so what do you know. But here’s the thing… I will repeat myself for the third time. I have not smoked one hit of marijuana in 4 years. I write the truth, from every side if possible because it is my responsibility as a journalist to not be one sided.
Marijuana does have great potential to help those who need it in a medicinal sense. Do I think it should be available like alcohol? No. But I have my beliefs on which is the worse of the two evils. There are still political figures who are fighting for the legalization of marijuana because of the financial benefits it could bring to the economy. John McKay, a former U.S. attorney for the western district of Washington State, was joined by Emery’s wife Jodie and former B.C. Attorney General Geoff Plant at a lecture in Vancouver on Wednesday.
The M.L. King County Labor Council, representing 152 unions and more than 75,000 workers, has recommended that the Washington State Labor Council endorse passage of Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana.
And finally as of April 11, 2012 according to MedicalMarijuana.procon.org, there are 12 states looking to legalize medical marijuana. One of which is New York.
This is the thing people. We need to realize what we are taking in from the pharmaceutical companies and than take a look at what we could grow and harvest on our own for medical usage. If you don’t agree with me fine. But in honor of 420 and the drug that I have known to help many people who fight cancer, MS, and other ailments, I think you should do your research before you knock the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes.