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Attack On Cannabis Is Misguided, Dangerous

Katelyn Baker

Well-Known Member
There have been recent letters to the editor, T-C Line statements and even statements at city council that are at best erroneous, and at worst, self-serving. I'd like to correct the perception generated by this outlandish misinformation. These statements all concerned "potheads" and how terrible it would be to allow illegal drugs into our communities. How bad "pot" is and how all your children will be born naked if you use it ... or something like that.

The first misconception is about cannabis being an illegal drug. It is not a drug; it is a medicine. If you could see the children, teenagers, young adults, adults, seniors who have had their lives given back to them by cannabis, you would marvel at why anyone would make such a cure illegal. In truth, cannabis as medicine has been in use for millennia, as a general tonic and a healing medicine. It has only been in the past 80 years that misguided political powers have tried to control its use by regulation and eventual illegal federal status based purely upon personal preference and racism.

The 10th Amendment makes any attempt to interfere with a completely in-state, economic and social issue, anathema to the federal government. Considering that the adjacent states are adamant about not having anything to do with Colorado's cannabis industry, there is no Interstate Commerce Clause to invoke, either. Over 60 percent of Coloradans voted in a general election to make cannabis legal. Cannabis is legal in Colorado, and the American Constitution forbids federal interference.

The second misconception I'd like to correct is that cannabis users are "potheads." Much like the perception that everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, this is blatantly false. We have family friendly beer fests. There's a brewery on practically every corner. Alcohol sponsors our biggest sports teams as well as countless local events and groups. Yet alcohol kills more than 50,000 people a year, every year. Alcohol destroys families and businesses. Yet it's welcomed with open arms into almost every nook and cranny of the community, including being the business of some high government officials. Cannabis, on the other hand, has never been documented to be directly responsible for a single death, ever. Even the people who have overdosed on edibles and died, died from falling or some other not so intelligent action, like jumping on a cop. Medical cannabis users are normal, everyday people who get relief from their pain and suffering with a medicine that has side effects that are not worse than the affliction ... a rarity in today's pharmacopeia. There are more and more people who may have been adamant "pot nazis" in the past, who see the light when CBD saves their loved one, or using cannabis makes their chemotherapy bearable, or seeing the demented regain a semblance of normality after taking a dose.

It does a grave disservice to patients and even casual users of cannabis, when they are lumped in with the 5 percent of abusers. Some would have you think all users are abusers. The prohibition of cannabis, even the extreme regulation that makes it only quasi-legal but still difficult to obtain, contributes to the deaths of those (especially children) who are in sore need. Children have died because they were prohibited from using a medicine that could save their life, because someone thinks someone somewhere might get "high." I am sure God has a special place for these people, so I do little more than spit upon them in this world.

Lastly, to preclude any accusations, allow me to present my credentials for my statements. I have an undergraduate degree in zoology, with a chemistry minor, a graduate degree in environmental biology with a minor in toxicology, and a half dozen certifications in various environmental specialties. I was co-founder of the first NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) chapter in Colorado, cofounder of Front Range NORML, judge in Colorado's first Medical Marijuana Harvest Cup, and a medical marijuana activist in Colorado for more than 15 years.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Bo Shaffer - Attack On Cannabis Is Misguided, Dangerous
Author: Bo Shaffer
Contact: 303-776-2244
Photo Credit: Andy Nelson
Website: Times-Call
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