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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Legalize Marijauna? It's already a pill....check "Marinol"

A CNN bullet question asks if marijuana should be legalized?

It's already legal to take marijuana by prescription through oral medication, or when it's prescribed or dispensed at authorized, licensed clinics.

Check the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) website link above to read how marijuana is available in an oral prescription, under the name Marinol.  In fact, marijuana doesn't need to be grown, rolled or smoked because it can already be taken orally in a pill form.

Therefore, the unregulated use of marijuana, or the criminality associated with growing, smoking or selling it, is totally unnecessary. People who claim to need the medicinal effects to ease nausea or other distressing symptoms, can get the benefit with legal prescriptions.

In CNN's unscientific bullet poll, about 70 percent agreed with the statement about making marijuana legal.  It's become too much of a legal burden to keep the recreational use under control. In other words, the cost of enforcement are outweighing the benefits of keeping innocent people safe from having sellers in their neighborhoods.  So, decriminalizing marijuana could, presumably, allow people to grow the plants in their flower gardens.

In the past, the argument against legalizing marijuana has been about the "slippery slope", i.e., recreational marijuana leads to the abuse of stronger drugs, especially addicting opiates. There's no evidence that marijuana leads to other drug abuse; but the culture among those who abuse drugs usually includes the use of marijuana, or so I'm told. So, use of one doesn't necessarily lead to abuse of the other, but marijuana and opiate abuse seems to go hand in hand.  Legalization will likely lead to other, lesser addicting drugs, taking its place in the hierarchy of illegal substance abuse toxins. It seems like street vendors are coming up with new toxins every month.

You must "live in a cave" not to know how courts, jails and prison cells are overloaded with abusers of marijuana.  Meanwhile, we have no idea how big the market share is for black market marijuana, the kind purchased legally but sold illegally.  Recreational use of marijuana is so pervasive, it's joked about openly on late night television, situation comedies and movies. Illegal marijuana seems to be a fantasy.

On the other hand, even the legal dispensing of marijuana in pill form, baked in brownies or smoked, is costly to government, because of the the "red tape" regulations promulgated to oversee and monitor its use.

Legal marijuana, if it happens, can be taxed at up to 100 percent of its value.  Obviously, taxing marijuana will serve to make the underground use even more pervasive.

How can people be forced to buy marijuana with a tax attached, when it can be grown in a window sill flower pot?

Our society doesn't have the capacity to fight marijuana legal wars anymore.  Yet, it seems too simple a solution to legalize it. I submit, the legalization will lead to more ethical dilemmas. How do communities keep legal marijuana out of our workplaces or neighborhoods?

Just because we're marijuana fatigued, it still doesn't make much sense, to the "nurse" in me, to legalize it, because it's already available by prescription to those who need it for medicinal purposes.

So, you must know by now, I'm one of the small minority of respondents who voted "no" on the CNN bullet poll.  Of course, being right and having $1.00 doesn't even buy a brownie bar anymore.



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