With all the heated debates over cannabis legalization going on around the country one would wonder why there is so much buzz over a plant. Cannabis, specifically medical cannabis, has been at the forefront of discussions all around the country. The federal government has continued its harsh stance against legalization despite the mounting evidence of its benefits, as backed up by the Vice President’s actions in Latin America this week.
We have looked at the issue of legalization in many lights but one way that has not been discussed is that of the individual. Legally we are given responsibility for our actions and our bodies when we drive, consume alcohol, tobacco or prescriptions despite deaths each year. Most of us are reasonably responsible adults who are depended upon to carry out many important tasks and make many important decisions including raising children. Doctors are entrusted with our lives including cancer treatments and brain surgeries but they are not trusted to prescribe cannabis medicinally.
We are each supposed to be responsible for ourselves including the care of our bodies. With this it would naturally be assumed that one would also have control of what goes into one’s body and what treatments or relaxations methods one chooses to use. Americans range from lawyers, doctors, congresspeople, CEO s, mothers or any other law abiding citizens. Why are we not trusted to make a responsible decision when it comes to cannabis?
This leaves one to wonder in regards to cannabis when did the government decide we were incapable of making such a personal decision? When did they decide that they know more about whats better for each of us individually than we do ourselves? It is insulting when you look at it in this light; that the government does not feel that each of us are capable of self-control. As a parent I am insulted that they question my parenting abilities to raise a competent person capable of choosing wisely for themselves including refraining from letting cannabis “take over their lives” as the government wants us to believe happens all the time. In reality each of us are capable of deciding how to, when to and how much to use cannabis if at all. Each of us are capable of researching and talking with our doctors to see if cannabis is right for us.
The government allows drivers 16 and older to get behind the wheel of a car despite the harm drivers cause all across the nation. There are over 40,000 deaths a year as a result of vehicles and their drivers. People now more than ever are distracted with texting, videos, talking, browsing and more making them even more dangerous.
The government also allows for adults 21 and older to consume alcohol even though it causes over 750,000 deaths a year, domestic violence, rise in crime rates, child abuse, liver damage and many more tragedies. The government feels that you can responsibly use and monitor your consumption of alcohol even though there are over 17 million alcoholics in the US.
The government allow adults 18 and older to use tobacco even after concrete evidence that it causes cancer and death not only to the user but those around them that are exposed. Cigarettes have been linked to lung cancer, emphysema and more. Each year it is estimated that 443,000 die from tobacco related issues.
Each year over 100,000 Americans die from medication by overdose, interactions or other medication related issues. Citizens are entrusted with sometimes fatal medications monitored only by themselves and some doctor supervision. Doctors on the whole still do not have sophisticated systems between themselves and pharmacies to prevent drug interactions or overdose.
There are many larger responsibilities we handle than a personal choice of using cannabis or not. Even legally we are given much larger responsibilities so with that in mind the obvious question is why would using this plant in a responsible manner not be one our responsibilities as well?
Despite all the mounting evidence of the beneficial properties of cannabis and the fact there has never been a reported case of overdose, the government refuses to recognize that Americans are responsible enough and should have control over their decision concerning cannabis. The decision to use or not to use cannabis is a personal choice and one that should be used with facts in hand and government nowhere in sight.
Although cannabis does not cause death, people still do. People need to live up to that responsibility by using cannabis wisely and responsibly. We shouldn’t have to prove anything to the government but if we are going to change things in this country being a good example is the first step. This includes responsibly using cannabis and restricting access to children.
Educating others is the second step. We need to show others that cannabis is not the evil drug that the government has made it out to be but instead a healing plant. It can be used responsibly to wind down at the end of a long day much like wine or beer or in more potent version medicinally for patients. In the end this is just a plant and one that can be used naturally without changing its form which can not be said for many other drugs legal or not.
Educating others is key to our success in legalization. Others need to know the truth and I encourage all to go out and seek the truth. Learn the real facts of cannabis. Then contact your representative and ask for their support in repealing cannabis prohibition. There are several pending legislation all over the country. Help 2012 be a monumental year, one that we reach our goal!