Prompted by: Pot Matters: Massachusetts Officials Cop-Out (High Times)
As a Massachusetts native and fan(nabis) of cannabis, I’m strongly helping press for yes on this important issue for public safety.
Odds are that you aren’t from our state, but I always tap into (unfortunately too often uniquely expressed) basics to bring relevance to its broadest reach.
Leading state officials in Massachusetts oppose the ballot measure to legalize marijuana that will go before the state’s voters this November. […]
The governor and his colleagues first point out that the state has already decriminalized marijuana and made the drug available for medical use.
True — and there has been no noticeable change in cannabis abuse as a result of “weakening” those drug laws.
Disaster didn’t strike as similarly direly forewarned by those prohibitionists disliking the now ‘hat trick of voter initiatives’ — i.e. decriminalization in 2008, medical legalization in 2012, and upcoming recreational legalization this year — challenging their entrenched power (e.g. big money).
Their argument against making marijuana “fully legal and widely available for commercial sale” is straightforward. It rests on their own interpretations of the results of legalization in Colorado.
Based upon anything I’ve witnessed, their visit to Colorado wasn’t an unbiased observance of the pros and cons of state legality, but an unethical effort to dig up enough dirt to defeat the yes vote likely coming here.
More young people use marijuana when it is legal. Marijuana use by adolescents is not safe. Increased marijuana use produces public health problems such as increases in emergency room visits and increases in traffic fatalities. Edible marijuana products pose risks for both adults and children.
Let’s examine that paragraphical load (yes, pun intended).
Use increasing upon legality (while sadly intuitive) is baseless, because it must be based upon the assumption that prohibition works to some degree (that assumption invalid in light of the absence of any concrete evidence). Prohibition hasn’t created a drug-free prison system, so the likely limit of cannabis use is market saturation (i.e. demand is limited due to the also-intuitive belief that not everyone feels benefit from using cannabis — like many people prefer to avoid riding a roller coaster, even despite its availability).
Science against cannabis is junk when failing to precisely factor intake method differential (e.g. smoking versus vaporization), intake amount (not the obscenely rough measurement of “joints”, or such), and strain differential — e.g. two strains can dramatically produce different neurological effects like experiencing two different drugs altogether, so this is a critical factor in terms of at least mental stress, but apparently always ignored.
Cannabis is not a single drug in effect, but an oceanic class of neurological effects that can be responsibly flexibly applied to benefit health, or dangerously abused upon ignorance.
Cannabis use is a skill. Risk and danger exists in all activities (e.g. sports), and cannabis activities are no different. Education for safety is the only sane answer (not a highly abusive and ineffective prohibition) — especially within the “land of the free”.
Cannabis science is weak (because it’s still reasonably early and unreasonably limited by law), so never validates the several decades of widespread and unethical tough-talking affirmations against the plant.
While too many people espouse the risk/danger of cannabis use, the fact is no experimental science concludes any harm from cannabis use.
Adolescence by its very nature is a risky phase of life (like young turtles vulnerably crawling from the beach to reach the safer ocean), so judicially isolating various activities as harmful due to that natural vulnerability is unethical (and flagrantly mass rights-infringing, but way too many people refuse to actively care about that key fact towards public vulnerability).
Notice how such politicians (etc.) unethically refuse to acknowledge the obvious harm and ineffectiveness of prohibition in consideration towards their cannabis stance. Many families are broken by prohibitionist thrusts, for painfully solid example.
The potential revenue raised from marijuana taxes will be offset by increased costs for “our first responders, our medical system, and our cities and towns… [and] any new revenue would be vastly insufficient to cover the cost of ambulance rides, emergency room visits, and treatment. And these are just the hard costs; they don’t include the suffering of the injured and their families.”
Again, we’ve heard all of this before prior to voters decriminalizing cannabis and then (actually only partially) legalizing medical access to that plant — both done against similar oligarchical views.
While laws structuring the healthcare industry allow outrageous price fixing (amply increased hard costs) at serious taxpayer hard costs, and other serious monopolistic problems powerfully corrupting and further threatening our healthcare system, there simply has been no hard evidence to prove “weakening” cannabis laws has increased healthcare costs (in hard or soft form).
Governor Baker and his colleagues also argue that “the financial backers of legalization are not neighborhood leaders, medical professionals, or grass-root activists” but instead “big businesses and investors” who are “motivated by the profit potential for dominating a new marketplace.”
The capitalism demonization card has been played (by a Republican even). Scary big marijuana is completely dominating the scene for greed. Lock up your kids and run to the embracing arms of your protective public sector never demonstrating corruption for greed (sorry, if I broke your sarcasm meter).
Is this really what’s happening in Colorado? Not based upon anything I’ve witnessed all these states away (while regularly reading the cannabis section of the Denver Post).
Logically speaking, they’re also many deeply passionate cannabis enthusiasts (think the cannabis version of microbrewers) dedicated to only the highest (including safest) quality of cannabis experiences for their customers.
Only strict laws (directly or effectively) barring entry against good small businesses inflames big cannabis market dominance.
Furthermore, and this is probably the most important claim here, “decades of research have not debunked the myth that marijuana is harmless.”
As I already basically stated, it’s not a myth.
Based upon the full application of conclusive (not at best suggestive) science, there’s no proven harm in cannabis use.
In a nation with an unalienable right to liberty (albeit an illegally ignored one), the burden of proof sensibly must involve conclusively proving harm from use (not the other way around). Otherwise, we get the serious and broad risk/danger of abusive law — also not a myth, but a devastating national occurrence continuously (albeit usually surreptitiously) splashing rough waves of humanity beyond the journalistic reach to most people.
Finally, these opponents of legalization argue that the state has a big problem with the “heroin and prescription-drug epidemic” that has strained the resources of “emergency departments and drug treatment centers . . . and our first responders are stretched to their limits.”
I have watched the local mainstream news for over a year now, and the only reports we get produce a net result of prohibition has done literally nothing positive for public safety.
Drug abuse is clearly fundamentally a health — not criminal — issue by any sane measure.
Law enforcement (e.g. in Gloucester) has publicly offered to avoid criminal charges upon heroin addicts seeking help, so even the police are sometimes starting to informally understand the law is only destructively getting in the way.
The police are obviously not health experts, so why are they even involved upon the absence of actual crimes (e.g. murder, assault, theft, etc.)?
Are the police involved in people eating themselves to dangerous levels?
Are they involved in people getting self-destructively drunk at home without prompting others to call the cops?
Are they involved in risky athletic recreations?
And so lengthily on?
No. They’re just involved in certain drugs for some obviously immorally politicized, selfishly financial, illegally discriminatory, and severely (if not extremely) abusive reason.
That so-called “epidemic” affects the overwhelming minority of people — reportedly measured in the hundreds or low thousands — among the about seven million citizens here.
Drug (like any form of) abuse is worth addressing, but an actual (including purely selflessly honest) solution is needed.
Note that no hard data is provided about actual costs and benefits, either in Colorado nor Massachusetts. This is an argument without a premise or a factual foundation. Journalists, advocates and citizens can fact-check these claims, and they will.
Journalists (have and) will not check anti-prohibition claims — at least sufficiently for public understanding at the mainstream level.
Reason abuse deeply infests the mainstream media — largely a group of selfish entertainers leveraging real and cheaply impressive-looking tragedy to make money for themselves.
They’re not responsible entertainers fully honestly raising public awareness on behalf of the critical people’s right to know (like yours truly is).
To competitively secure “newsworthy” information about such tragic events, they must form strong relationships with the main suppliers of that information — the people usually on the front lines of such tragedy — our government (especially law enforcement).
It’s a severe conflict of interest against public safety, and the reason why the mainstream media refuses to justifiably apply the same powerful public pressure against prohibition legitimacy as they do against Donald Trump (etc.)
The most interesting aspect of the governor’s argument is its inherent flaw, its own contradictory logic, and this is what makes it such a cop-out.
I saw governor Baker explicitly state his outright refusal to support cannabis legalization in any case. That’s confirmation bias spread to the public from the televised podium of public office.
The fact is (based upon the whole truth and nothing but) there’s literally no good reason to sustain the war on [arbitrarily some] drugs.
Such a war is demonstrably ineffective, destructive, (at least usually) scientifically unwarranted, taxpayer expensive, and when judicial corruption is removed — flagrantly unconstitutional at all levels of government (ninth amendment and Supremacy Clause logically utterly crushes the ridiculously outrageous Commerce Clause base — noting the ninth and very powerful catchall amendment has been illegally judicially disarmed to metaphorical crickets chirping).
It looks like an exercise in protecting the public interest, while it is actually an example of dereliction of duty on the part of these prominent public officials.
That dereliction is strong. Yet, the citizenry here continue to constantly press to further empower those derelicts to regulate and tax us to high levels “for public safety”. The resulting cost of living is high here, but there’s no effective concern over that stressful and genuine epidemic affecting literally the entire state’s population.
It’s all part of the oligarchically delicious scam of ‘rare instances of abuse justify mass judicial harm for cushier oligarchical lives’.
And the people at large continue falling for that scam in many waves crescendoing oppressively with no end in sight.
Advocates of legalization do not rest their case on the argument that marijuana is harmless, but instead on the argument that legalization produces less harm than prohibition.
And I find that problematic. Since no harm has been conclusively proven from cannabis use, but mass harm has been conclusively proven from prohibition, that’s the real (and more powerful) argument.
I’ll vote for the ‘tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol’ approach, because it’s better than outright prohibition, but there are serious problems with that approach that righteously distinguishes our Respect Cannabis campaign from all others.
For brevity here, putting aside the fact that cannabis is almost always dramatically different than alcohol…
Marijuana is harmful for teenagers, so that’s why they prefer to let teenagers buy it from an unregulated illegal market rather than reduce teenage access by way of a legal, regulated market with an age limit restricting the drug’s purchase to adults. In other words, a legal marijuana market is more harmful to teens than the current illegal market. It’s better to let kids have unrestricted access to marijuana and other drugs than to legalize marijuana for adults, better to contract with a criminal market to address the issue of marijuana’s availability to teenagers than to take responsibility to address the problem with public sector engagement and oversight.
Nice try, traditional leftist, but regulatory age limits leave the “criminal market” in business for all intents and purposes in that basically teen context.
As they do with alcohol “limits”, teens will then riskily approach likely shady characters to buy their weed for them (likely at reasonably heavy cost) — basically no different than buying from a traditional dealer these days.
Since cannabis can be cheaply easily grown anywhere with (even severely) poor results, teens should be expected to be at (perhaps serious) risk of using such inferior products with their harsh psychological effects due solely to those judicial limits.
As a kid reasonably close to entering my teen years, when an adult gave me my first taste of alcohol, I hated the taste (while the adult grinned knowingly) and had no further interest then. Kids basically don’t need or seek out recreational drugs.
However, telling teens they can’t do something found fun by adults is stupidly ironic encouragement, because teens are at the age of asserting their independence (preparing for adulthood) — and grouping up to encourage recreational drug experimentation (e.g. happily popularly introducing yours truly to the common teenage experience with alcohol, and all of the terrible risks accompanying that drug of idiotic tendency — i.e. actual “dope”).
A reverse psychological ‘meh’ approach to drugs would logically make more beneficial sense (while saving taxpayers billions of dollars annually), but then the oligarchy doesn’t get to comfort themselves at terrible public expense — and that’s the real problem here.
We’re all dominantly manipulated (during youthful education, the media, and so on) to support oligarchical comforts “to protect the children” — public safety be condemned as needed for that priority. That’s the raw truth that requires mature public pressure for actual public safety.
Leveraging cannabis popularity to secure political leverage for traditional (not really progressive) leftists to continue their unhealthy and fundamentally irrational (not necessarily pertaining to their intent, but towards their methods) press to complexly judicially regulate our lives for no ultimate justice (just comfortably empowering themselves, based upon the ironically hypocritically unequal results of their methods towards equality) is utterly sickening.
Traditional rightists usually join in to get their regulatory/prohibition fix from whatever leverage they can secure from their preferred definition of (sado)moralism hypocritically against unalienable rights — also utterly sickening (and logically immoral).
Abusive law is the real drug epidemic ruining many millions of innocent lives (at ample taxpayer expense) strongly continuously with no end in sight.
Complexly judicially regulating cannabis (or anything else) is not really a solution, because each of those regulations is a prohibition — so the serious problems of prohibition remain intact within those contexts.
But that continuously horrific tragedy doesn’t look good enough for the mainstream media to bite the informational hand that feeds them, so reason abusers (with protective mass thuggery) win the day on behalf of humanity’s true “leader” — the Great Hypocrisy.
All continue to sacrifice pure honesty to the Great Hypocrisy to tumultuously broadly wrestle with spun agendas for personal gain (yep, apparently another sarcasm meter breakage).
Or join the likes of yours truly to strengthen ourselves (e.g. by supporting our Respect Cannabis campaign, even if only lightly) in light of the fact that I have literally no need for any conflict of interest against public safety as a responsible entertainer ready to lawfully do my best to help teach people to best avoid (inclusively drug) abuse.
So what say you?
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