Legalize the Social Use of Marijuana

MCLR 2016 will legalize the “Social Use” of Cannabis for Adults 21 and older. This initiative protects children and young adults from non-medical use of Cannabis, and ensures our children’s futures will not be negatively impacted by marijuana crimes.

 

Marijuana has been given a bad rap in the last few decades.  However, the Marijuana plant has grown up alongside humans providing its psychoactive properties for spiritual, medicinal, and recreational uses for as long as we can remember. Pot, Weed, Grass, Dope, Cannabis, or Marijuana, whichever way you say it, can be an intoxicant. Its psychoactive properties vary from strain to strain, depending on the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the percentage of other cannabinoids which weaken or strengthen the activity of the THC from the plant. There is no doubt that adult use of Recreational or Social Marijuana is widespread throughout the world among just about every human population.

This MCLR 2014 Initiative advocates for the responsible use of Marijuana by adults. That means no driving, swimming, or operating machinery while impaired. It means no working at dangerous or sensitive occupations while impaired, and no conducting any other activity which will cause a person or persons to be in peril.  Responsible adult recreational use also means not giving it to children.

Amazingly, science has determined that human bodies and brains actually have special Cannabinoid receptors for the various Canabinoids in Marijuana. In other words, Marijuana and humans were designed to work together. The Marijuana “high” results when the THC and other Cannabinoids bind with these Cannabinoid receptors in the brain. There are also Cannabinoid receptors in other areas of the body, as well, including the lungs, kidney, and liver. For recreational purposes, the dominant receptors are in the brain.

So why did our government decide that Marijuana is dangerous and make it illegal? Well, there is a long history there. To be brief, there were two main reasons. One was fear.  Opponents said that “dark skinned” men would look at “white” women if they were allowed to use Marijuana. The other reason was financial. Opponents such as Randolph Hearst didn’t want competition from hemp to affect his profits from his own timberland or his paper mill (for wood processing). So he used his “bully pulpit” in the form of his own newspapers to scandalize Marijuana and its users.

So why do other “people” want to keep Marijuana illegal? This is for financial reasons as well. Alcohol companies don’t want the competition from Marijuana. Pharmaceutical companies don’t want Marijuana to become legal because of its medical uses, which will give them competition. Law enforcement doesn’t want to lose a potential source of revenue, which is a windfall after years of declining budgets. This includes bonuses paid by the Federal government to local cops, and it includes major asset seizures (think cash, cars, real estate property, and Marijuana) from sites where Marijuana is found. And of course, the “Prison Industrial Complex”, including many private prisons, makes huge profits incarcerating Marijuana users.

So why do some people think Marijuana is too dangerous to be used recreationally? Well, many regular people today feel that Marijuana is a legitimate substance for safe recreational use. Recreational purposes include relaxation, euphoria, amusement, eating (“having the munchies”), and heightened sensory perceptions. Everyone is stretched thin these days. Everyone is stressed. So what is so bad about using something for these purposes? And then why is it okay (and legal) for an adult to use alcohol to produce these very same feelings, and not okay (and illegal) to use Marijuana?

In fact, there are many good reasons why humans should be using Marijuana instead of alcohol for recreational use (as long as they are going to do something anyway – and they will). Some studies show that while alcohol damages the brain, Marijuana does not. Alcohol use has been linked to liver diseases as well as diseases of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas and the prostate. Alcohol is even linked to cancers. Marijuana use has not been linked to any diseases, including cancers (In fact, though that is another story, Marijuana may reduce tumors and cure some cancers). You can die from alcohol poisoning, and you can die from alcohol withdrawal as well. Nobody – that’s right, nobody – has ever died from Marijuana poisoning, an overdose, or from its withdrawal. This is because there are no Cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body areas that control vital bodily functions.  So even if a person becomes uncomfortable or anxious during a “high” period, they are in no serious danger – unless, of course, they do something dangerous besides using Marijuana.

So, in the scheme of things, is it bad for you?  Science and history suggests that it isn’t – and it may even be good for you!