Marijuana in the Balance

Dear Readers:

Why is marijuana an illegal substance? According to the scriptures, God created herbs and proclaimed His Creation good. The scriptures also teach that herbs are for medicinal purposes. Medical researchers have actually found medicinal uses for various herbs, including marijuana, and persons have attested to the curative qualities of this plant. So why is it illegal?

To justify its illegal status, those in favour of marijuana remaining illegal note the reported negative effects of smoking marijuana, which include addiction, short-term memory loss, and lung cancer. These effects reportedly lead to the smokers neglecting their responsibilities, and engaging in criminal activity if they do not have the income to support their addiction. Those who smoke marijuana report that it gives them momentary pleasure.

In North America, some youths derive pleasure from inhaling toxic paint and glue fumes. The paint and glue are useful substances, but they have become harmful to the misguided youths who abuse these substances’ normal uses. Similarly, the marijuana plant is good and has medicinal benefits when ingested; however it is harmful to the individual when inhaled. Therefore the problem arises when persons decide to smoke this medicinal plant and therefore abuse its normal use.

While abusing marijuana is harmful to the individual, it is also costly to the nation who must bear the cost of: patient care when they become sick, rehabilitation when they want to change, law enforcement when they behave irresponsibly, and incarceration when they are convicted. The nation must also bear the cost of their general loss of productivity, and the inefficient use of educational resources since their learning is negatively affected.

But is keeping marijuana illegal the answer to these social problems? The costs to the individual and nation are just as severe from those who sniff paint and glue fumes, as they are from those who smoke marijuana. However it would seem ridiculous to make paint and glue illegal. Similarly, just because some misguided persons abuse marijuana and engage in irresponsible behaviour should not disqualify the rest of mankind from benefiting from this God given natural cure. Misguided persons may try to find ways of abusing the normal uses of various substances, however it would not benefit any nation to react by simply making such substances illegal.

How many have had to suffer needlessly just because the treatment to their ailment was illegal, for no other reason than irresponsible persons abusing the use of a curative plant? A balance should therefore be found and the following course of action is recommended.

1. Educate our children about the lunacy of smoking medicine, or taking medicine when they are not sick, regardless of the pleasure that it may bring. Discussions should also be held with the Rastafarian community, with a view to having them re-examine their religious stance on smoking marijuana. Smoking is an unhealthy and addictive practise, which is at variance with their reportedly healthy lifestyle.

2. Restrict the planting, harvesting and dispensing of marijuana to herbalists who are approved by the Caribbean Association of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CACAM) and licensed by the Ministry of Health. Treatment should only be available at the licensed office of a herbalist who should follow strict protocols for its use. These protocols should be published by CACAM and based on published peer reviewed scientific research.

3. Any unlicensed person found with any quantity of marijuana should be fined heavily and made to perform many months of community service. Also, any herbalist misusing the treatment or not following the approved protocols should be fined heavily, incarcerated, and have their licence permanently revoked.

In conclusion, the possession of marijuana should remain illegal to all but licensed herbalists and their patients. This should allow all persons to benefit from this God given natural cure for a host of ailments, without the negative social effects.

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5 responses to “Marijuana in the Balance

  1. Your answer may lie in the fact that cigarettes and alcohol can be licensed, while the road is not so clear with marijuana. Alcohol does severe damage to the organs of water based creatures (such as ourselves) and we can go on and on about nicotine, but still these things can be bought over the counter at reputable establishments. We have to realize that the same entity legalizes one and bans the other. Why are herbalists and other alternative medicine practitioners, the butt of criticism from the medical establishment?

    They represent a threat to the status quo, they dare to fly in the face of those who stand to profit. Not that great strides have not been made in surgery and medical diagnostics and for these things I am thankful. It is however a travesty to suppress the natural cures for the sake of profit. The reason why marijuana and other naturally occurring “helpers”, are not adequately researched is the difficulty in applying patents to naturally occurring substances. (why spend hundreds of dollars on medicines and treatments when I could just “pick” my cure from a grove somewhere) thats the fear of the major pharmaceutical companies. Some doctors still try their best to stem the tide but they are really trained to prescribe medicine. (Have you been to your doctor lately for any infection or any form of irritation or inflammation, they normally prescribe an anti-biotic and an anti-inflammatory drug, it could be a head cold, the same thing.) Nothing sinister there you might say, but what they don’t tell you is those same anti-biotics kill off the useful microbes already in your system. Modern medicine is about money and the system is about money, and the powers that be create an environment conducive for that money to be made. So no alternative medicine, just go to your doctor and let them prescribe something or go to your local pharmacy and collect something, and help them keep the cycle of sickness going. People need to wake up.

  2. Hi Nickster:

    The assertion that natural cures may be suppressed by pharmaceutical companies who see their profits threatened is plausible. However, until evidence is presented that can be weighed in the balance, it must remain a speculative assertion.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  3. I see it more as a social observation, business as we know it encourages market security, just toss in human greed and we have what we have now. Monopolies and mergers are just some of the examples of the “expand or die” mentality. Look at globalization, world markets, heck even the IMF these are all stones on the road the world is traveling. What make the “business” of health care any more sacred.

  4. Hi Nickster:

    Observing social trends and commercial responses to those trends are good data upon which to make plausible assertions – which you have done.

    One possible next step would be to review any publicly available court transcripts, where a pharmaceutical company had to answer a related charge, and look for any evidence given under oath that can support your assertion.

    Regards,
    Grenville

  5. Should make for some interesting reading…

    http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=6635

    http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/articles/marinolVSmarijuana.htm

    “Over one hundred articles recommending cannabis were published between 1840 and 1900 alone. In fact, marijuana was a prominent part of the pharmacopoeia from 1870 up until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act effectively banned the plant from public consumption regardless of intended use”

    “When Congress first considered banning the cannabis plant, the respected American Medical Association (AMA) testified before federal committees in defense of marijuana’s medical applicability.3 Despite the AMA’s efforts, the political motivations behind outlawing the plant far outweighed any medical considerations, and in 1937, cannabis became illegal.”

    http://deasucks.com/essays/marimyths.htm (this one you should take with a grain of salt but it does touch some of the issues)

    http://ethics.tamucc.edu/article.pl?sid=04/02/06/1955222
    (take what you will from this one)

    still doing my research into this, trying to wade through the “agendas” for some gleaning of the truth.

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