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Vermont Marijuana Farm Tours

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Vermont legislators who worked on passage of a 2007 bill expanding access to marijuana for medical purposes are to be commended. But there is a bigger issue that needs to be dealt with.

Of all the so-called street drugs, marijuana is the one that should be legalized for a variety of reasons. Quite simply, marijuana has many positive effects and very few bad side effects. Chronic use or abuse of any drug will do bad things and marijuana is no exception. Smoking is bad for the lungs and long-term use of the drug can cause memory impairment.

My research leads me to believe that there has never been a case of marijuana overdose. It is one of the few "drugs" that the human body cannot be poisoned by during one session of use, unless you consider increased somnolence or excessive appetite overdose symptoms.

In fact, there may be a case to have marijuana not be called a drug in the street, illegal abuse, sense. In order to understand why marijuana is illegal in the United States it is important to look at the history of the big scare created when America's first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, waged war against the drug.

According to the Web site heartbone.com,

"In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act was passed, effectively prohibiting possession or use of marijuana. It was claimed to be needed to oversee and coordinate existing state law concerning marijuana."

The following are excerpts of Mr. Anslinger's testimony before a Senate hearing on marijuana in 1937: "There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others. ... The primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races. Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality and death. You smoke a joint and you're likely to kill your brother. Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."

Seventy years later, the U.S. legal system continues to outlaw a substance that never had a basis in fact for making it illegal. If our laws are to reflect a changing society, they must be changed when there is a need to improve the quality of society.

The only argument one hears today that supports the illegality of marijuana is that its use leads to the use of more dangerous drugs. People who escalate up the ladder of drug abuse will find a way to do so no matter what the substance. You can't blame one drug for such a complex behavioral problem as addiction.

Alcohol, a legal drug for adults, is one of the most dangerous legal substances in any society. If alcohol was to be introduced as a new drug for some sort of medicinal purpose today, it is unlikely that the FDA would grant approval. The potential for abuse is tremendous and the side effects are deadly.

Rather than put the money and resources of society into a failed war on drugs we need to cultivate creative approaches that turn incorrectly labeled problems into opportunities for progress.

Small-scale agriculture, in Vermont and around the country, is an industry struggling for survival. Imagine what would happen if marijuana was legalized and farmers could diversify their operations with such a crop. I have heard anecdotal reports from farmers and law enforcement officials that marijuana is already a serious cash crop for many Vermont farmers. The risk is tremendous but the money supplementing meager milk checks has probably saved a few farms. Why not eliminate the risk and give a boost to agriculture?

Perhaps the next state law could allow farmers to be exclusive dealers of medical marijuana. Vermont could become a sort of Lourdes for people looking for symptom relief from chronic pain and debilitating illnesses. Who knows, maybe our society would become so enlightened as to eventually allow everyone legal access to marijuana.

The organization NORML (The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), estimates there are 80 million marijuana users in this country. That is more than 25 percent of the entire U.S. population.

If you think the ski industry is important to Vermont's economy, think about how agriculture, and the entire state, would be transformed with the legalization of marijuana.

Richard Davis is a registered nurse and executive director of Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health. He writes from Guilford.

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Source: Brattleboro Reformer
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Copyright: Brattleboro Reformer
Website: Brattleboro Reformer - Vermont marijuana farm tours?
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