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Legalizing Recreational Use of Marijuana

Posted on the 08 January 2014 by Barrysblogging

This past week, a front page headline in the Las Cruces Newspaper reported a trend towards passing legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state of New Mexico in the coming legislative year. To date, two states, Colorado and Washington, have already passed Marijuanalegislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana. More important is the fact that 20 states and the District of Columbia have approved the use of Marijuana for medical use. The Federal government (FDA) has classified marijuana with heroin, and LSD as Schedule 1 drugs. The definition of this class of drugs is “Drugs, substances, or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” Alcohol is not a Schedule 1 drug. It has no medical use today. But 20 states have defined the medical use of marijuana. Studies have demonstrated that heavy use of marijuana may have some deleterious effect on the brain. They have also demonstrated that heavy use of alcohol has significant deleterious effects on the brain, liver and kidneys. Alcohol is legal; Marijuana is not because of the FDA Schedule 1 designation. Some argue that we should not legalize recreational use of marijuana because of our experience with legal use of alcohol. However, as a society, we have firmly stated our desire to have alcohol available despite its potential for abuse. We have passed legislation holding people responsible for the acts they may commit which harm others while under the effect of alcohol. Marijuana has less potential for abuse, is not addicting, and has now been accepted in over 40% of the states in our nation as having valid medical applications. The black market for marijuana has been as violent as the black market for alcohol was during the era of prohibition. It is time for the FDA to reclassify marijuana appropriately removing it from Schedule 1 listing, and relist it appropriately as a schedule 4 drug with Darvon and Ambien. This would bring the FDA in line with the country, and remove the conundrum presently existing in which the drug is legal in 20 states but not federally legal. The FDA will complain that there are not sufficient well controlled scientific studies to reclassify the drug, However, there were no scientific studies to justify the original classification either! There are not sufficient studies documenting safety to retain aspirin on the market, considering its side effects. It is likely that were aspirin introduced to the market today the FDA would not approve its use due to its safety/efficacy profile. The reluctance of the FDA to do what is clearly right based upon over 50 years of illicit common usage of THC without demonstrable significant deleterious effects is both laughable and harmful to our functioning as a legal society. Marijuana is in widespread usage today, because people like it. Just as was true in the era of prohibition, the people demonstrated their desire to have alcoholic beverages, today, the people have undeniably demonstrated their desire to use marijuana. We are supposed to have a government “Of the People, By the People, and For the People,” (according the Abraham Lincoln). It is time for our FDA to act responsibly. A good reference for the effects and research regarding THC can be found on Wikipedia.
Finally, it is believed that Colorado will reap over 70 million in tax revenues to benefit their schools from the same of marijuana in that state. New Mexico is one of the least wealthy states in the Union. It can reap similar benefits from legalization of recreationalMarijuana Buds usage of marijuana. Some would argue that we already have a significant problem with the abuse of alcohol in our state. Yet there is insufficient evidence that adding legal use of marijuana would further damage our population. We already experience widespread illegal use of marijuana here. Legalization would only increase our tax revenue base, and could reduce the criminal element and its influence within the state. As previously stated, we have lost the “War on Drugs”. It is time we benefitted from the legal use of one of these drugs that seems to be safer than Alcohol, a drug that we have been using legally for years.

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