Monday, October 18, 2010

Let's Talk About Pot: Prop 203

Prop 203 is the Legalization of Medical Marijuana proposition to the Arizona constitution.

I have been weighing this for at least the last 10 years, and most recently for the last 24 hours.

Do I believe that it is wrong to smoke pot? Yes. It is an illegal substance.

But I am of two minds about that. I'm not convinced that marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol, of which I am a willing consumer during non-gestating periods of my life. My concerns with marijuana are that it is a gateway drug, and that it has not been proven to be any more effective at actual pain relief than the multitude of FDA approved pain killers. And pain management is the question at hand.

Pain is a tricky, completely individual feeling. I just don't think it's right to legalize a substance on so subjective a feeling like pain.

I have a couple moral points about the legalization of marijuana. For one, I hate that the government would collect tax revenue off of someone's vices. I find it abhorrent that the government, on the one hand tells a consumer to stop smoking and on the other raises the taxes on cigarettes so as to keep the revenue flowing for social projects. The government has a vested interest, then, in keeping the addiction going. This is the same for gambling, in my opinion. The government loves to tax people's vices, even if those vices are self-damaging.

The other point is that it does, as CAP said, send a very "dangerous message to our children that illegal drugs are not only acceptable, but beneficial." This is perhaps the most damaging by-product of legalizing "medical" marijuana.

I will be voting No on this proposition. Marijuana has not been proven to be a more effective pain manager than any of the other medications. And I believe that this proposition is simply an attempt to mainstream the use of pot so as to normalize the behavior.


Alison said...

I agree with you, and will be voting No as well. I do have one problem though. I know far too many people that have been so damaged from abusing pain killers (Oxycodone mostly)and a handful that have died from it unfortunately. I think that certain people could handle either responsibly, but far too many abuse both substances. So, if I had to choose for someone to get marijuana or a pain killer for pain management, I would have to go with marijuana.

Kristi said...

Earlier this summer, when I was in Denver for a visit, I was shocked by all the marijuana shops--sometimes there would be several on one street, or even in one strip mall! It just seemed crazy.

(Though Prohibition also seemed crazy back in the day.)

You bring up some great points--thanks for sharing!