Medical Marijuana Makes Sense!

Medical Marijuana is a topic that comes up when talking drug reform and policy. Currently 14 states have decriminalized medical Marijuana. Is this a good idea? In California one can go into a Marijuana dispensary and have a brief phone consultation with a doctor and they will give you a prescription for just about anything that ails you.  There are those who say this is a thin veneer for legal marijuana; that this is a not so clever street corner scam.  I am not so sure. I think more research is needed but there does seem to be some medicinal value, especially for cancer patients.

Illinois is the latest state to take on the medical marijuana issue. It may not fly there. The police are warning that this will only lead to “more crime”. That is a weak and frankly stupid argument. In one of the more bizarre comments I have seen, Phil Cline, former Chicago police superintendent says, “ The passing of this bill is going to lead to more crime and drug use. Street gangs (and by that he means black people) will open marijuana dispensaries and they’ll use the profits to buy guns and drugs and to bail out other gang members (again, black people).  Too bad he said this because there are people who will believe this because Cline has been a high-ranking police official. What is the truth about the legalized medical marijuana? Are they a good idea? Do they help people? Or are they, what people say, just a way to legalize marijuana.

If we have learned anything from prohibition it should be that taxing and regulating reduces crime. Has Cline not read the history of his own city where blood and violence in the alcohol trade were part of the daily life in Chicago during prohibition? Let’s say gang members open medical marijuana dispensaries. On a way, they have marijuana dispensaries already. They do dispense the product. If they dispensed the product out of a medical dispensary they have to pay taxes and don’t need guns. Kind of like, oh, alcohol a far more damaging substance than Marijuana.  As a side note, ALL states have decriminalized, taxed, and regulated alcohol. So in other words, yes, medical marijuana dispensaries are a thinly veiled way to legally distribute the product, but is legally dispensing the product legally a bad idea? No, no it is not.

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