Aug 292013
 August 29, 2013

marijuana warIt’s a fact: the public no longer believes marijuana poses a serious health risk. Those that would like to maintain marijuana’s illegality have lost their most potent public relations tool in the war on weed. Those crafty conservatives are always planning ahead, and they have cultivated a new crop of scary stories to maintain the American soccer moms’ fear of the ganja.

1. Environmental holocaust from outdoor growing

This eco-distraction seems poised to take center stage in the anti-marijuana debate. Famed newsman Dan Rather produced an episode of his show ‘Dan Rather Reports’ on marijuana farms committing ecological havoc.

Much ado has been made about Mexican cartels growing fields of marijuana in our national forests, and large-scale cultivation efforts in some California counties has resultedin streams diverted to growing operations, deforestation and erosion. If mainstream media reports are to be believed (and they do not have a stellar reputation when it comes to representing the marijuana issue fairly) and these issues are real, they still have no relation to the efforts to legalize marijuana use or to protect the medicinal use of cannabis for patients.

The environmental issues are problems, but they are localized and should not have a bearing on marijuana policy reform’s national dialog. Gardening on public land is illegal and not supported by any marijuana organization; any damage occurring at private farms is the result of a few individuals, not the vast majority of marijuana farmers.

More significantly, these situations prove that legalization of cannabis is the most realistic solution. Adding more Forest Service helicopters or drug task force agents is not an option- the government can’t even fund the effort to fight wildfires in our national parks. Any additional financial expenditure to seek and destroy marijuana farms, instead of properly funding firefighters and paramedics, is a resource allocation error. What we can do is normalize the business of cultivation; allow inspections and establish criteria for operations that are not restrictive while ensuring local issues are satisfied, like the diverting of streams.

2. Marijuana farming is a violent activity that threatens average people

standard argument against relaxing marijuana laws is that growing marijuana is somehow inherently bad. The media like to show people standing in front of fields of marijuana plants while holding a rifle; if they have a ragged bandanna covering most of their face to hide their identity, all the better. These pictures create an image of marijuana production that just doesn’t fit with the vast majority of modern growing operations.

The vision of cultivation described above is a symbol of marijuana’s illegality; the image of legal marijuana farmers in 20 states most often involves an indoor growing operation that the public cannot accidentally encounter. Throughout Michigan’s four-year-long medical marijuana program there have been reports of plants stolen from licensed gardeners but there are no reported deaths at indoor gardens. Michigan has 125,000 medical marijuana patients, each of whom is entitled to cultivate cannabis,  and an additional 30,000 people are licensed to grow marijuana.  That’s a lot of gardens and no violence.

3. Marijuana causes spousal abuse

That’s the conclusion a new scientific study is going to prove, according to a news report. Sounds backward? The University of Buffalo project’s lead researcher said, “Despite the commonly held belief that marijuana suppresses aggression, many studies have found a positive association between marijuana use and intimate-partner violence.” The study is being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who has been accused by many scientists of representing a viewpoint biased toward proving drugs are harmful.

The government has given the researcher $1.8 million to conduct a study called Proximal Effects of Marijuana in Understanding Intimate Partner Violence. That title makes it clear that they already believe in the ‘smoke pot-punch your partner’ connection, even though a recently published study in the scientific journal ‘Neuropharmacology’ states marijuana reduces aggression and improves social interaction. If a study accomplishes a confirmation instead of reaching a provable conclusion, it isn’t science- it’s public relations.

4. Alcohol is safer than marijuana

Society has rejected the old drug war notion that marijuana is instantly addictive or that it will kill you. Recently the Marijuana Policy Project put up a billboard in a major city and used a giant roadside television near a NASCAR event to deliver the message that marijuana is safer than booze.

Government anti-drug agencies have developed slick ways to avoid the comparisons of health effects between marijuana and alcohol. The National Institute on Drug Abuse dodged the question in an artful way by saying , “Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual.” Quite a switch from their former ‘marijuana kills people’ attitude. Look for more confusing non-answers from government agencies as they evolve their rhetoric.

Source: The Compassion Chronicles

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About Rick Thompson

"Rick Thompson was the Editor in Chief for the entire 2-year run of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine, was the spokesman for the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers and is the current Editor and Lead Blogger for The Compassion Chronicles. Rick has addressed committees in both the House and Senate, has authored over 200 articles on marijuana and is a professional photographer."Rick Thompson Is An Author At The Compassion Chronicles and focuses on all things Michigan.
  • Sarijuana

    The “why” of it all is what really eludes me. They don’t have to defend laws based on lies, made so many years ago that all those people are dead and gone. Why do they feel the need to defend this position? They can just say it was all crazy politics with no basis in fact, done a long time ago, and reverse the position. It’s all so convoluted.

    • John

      A lot of them have a vested interest, either personally, financially or both in maintaining the status quo. This is without regard to evidence or fact. Logic does not apply. Hysteria and the application of it socially is the order of the day unfortunately.

      • Wiggums

        This is how I see it. There are plenty of people that can use marijuana legally. Why not study them. I would say most are in a relationship. And I know that all of them aren’t going around punching each other because they are high. I know for a fact that, this plant, Does Not, I say DOES NOT cause violence. Instead of the government funding this study. Have a third party conduct it, that has nothing to gain, but stone cold facts! There is always going to be opposition to the legalization of marijuana. Until, there is nothing but, stone cold facts. That it does not cause harm. There was a reason it was put on this earth. To help people. It all boils down to money. A lot of people sitting in high positions aren’t going to be getting those “Buy a new Ferrari” bonus checks. Well, they might have to settle for that new Kia.

    • Dick Douglas

      There are enormous reasons to continue the charade. (a) Alcohol intake would decline, therefore the medical industry could suffer enormously from the loss of alcohol related illnesses. (b) The pharmaceutical industry could essentially collapse, from the amazing scope of conditions MMJ has positive effect upon. And that’s just 2.

      • Sarijuana

        Big Pharma will never collapse, they’ll just jump on the merry-go-round and beef up their own canna products and and then claim they’re better.

    • cadee

      It all boils down to money and I do not mean cheeseburger money, I mean buy yourself a yacht money……..There are 4 large industries that stand to loose billions every year, if marijuana becomes legal. 1) Oil Industry, they will loose money because marijuana and hemp will make cheap bio fuels. 2) Lumber Industry, they will loose money because 1ac of hemp or marijuana can replace 4ac of timber, if legal it would be more cost effective to use hemp or marijuana then to use trees. 3) Pharmaceutical Industry, they would loose BIG money, because people would have access to a cheap safer medicine. 4) Prison Industry, They make money off of the labor of those they have locked up as well as making money to keep us locked up, if marijuana is legal they will not have as many people to keep locked up and work. Anyways that is how I see it :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.raiter Jeff Raiter

        Not to mention that the Marijuana plant also consumes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than trees do thus it would be beneficial to slowing down CLIMATE CHANGE.

        • Cadee

          you are so right….There are 5 industries that would suffer :)

      • Cherokee

        Add to the list the Tobacco Industry, and the DEA and all local and state police departments would lose federal funding, The bar association in every state would lose huge money from loss in money made from defending clients, all the drug treatment centers would also lose. There are many players in the game to keep it illegal. It just comes down to greed and corruption.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-McLaughlin/100000039777325 Matt McLaughlin

    having less than as OZ a mere $100 ticket/infraction isnt a bad way to go>it cant be taxed!

  • dgand

    Wow, more refer maddness. Haha

  • Lyle Winterhalder

    NIDA really? Are they back to create a new zombie drug that will keep you from getting high, If NIDA said says anything take it for what if is…..absolute BS and nothing but. These temperance idiots have been ruining lives for a couple decades now. They need to be defunded and dismantled. Hey Boehner I know where you can save money, can those fu_ktards!

  • Dominic Corva

    Add: “children’s developing brains” as the specific “what about the children” wail

    • blotto

      Oh sooo lets just put all the kids on speed to slow them down…DONT DO DRUGS>>>>BUT HERE … TAKE THIS PILL!!….and you want to know why our newest generation are confused?? Get with the program…

  • Chris

    1.8 million to spend on research that is completely bullshit. I already know it decreases aggression.

  • Steve Canon

    I take issue with the indiscriminate bashing of conservatives on cannabis. If it were not for the conservative vote, Colorado wouldn’t be the first state to legalize recreational cannabis. I am a conservative libertarian and I resent the obviously political shenanigans against those with a fiscally conservative viewpoint. The folks who are against legalization usually have ties to big timber, big pharma, and the correctional industrial complex.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jeff.raiter Jeff Raiter

      All of these groups you just mentioned have strong ties to the conservative party. And being a libertarian is the key here . They believe marijuana should be LEGAL going against the conservative ideology.

      • Sarijuana

        Don’t think dems are not into these kinda groups as well. The Money is green no matter where it’s coming from and they all need the financial support to keep doing what they’re doing, which ain’t much. There are many conservatives on the right (left?) side of this issue, and you’ll see more and more coming on board as the real facts surface.

  • Smokey

    Dude, Rather isn’t even slightly conservative, never has been, and routinely rails against them. I’m not a Republican or a Democrat, just an open-minded Independent who believes the legalization of medical marijuana is long overdue. I’m disappointed the feds dragged their feet so long on this issue, especially when considering the head dude openly admitted to using it regularly during his younger days.

    And don’t expect to get the real story about much of anything from a mainstream media outlet these days. They merely flap is whatever direction they see the DC gang moving.

  • marcosanthonytoledo

    Reefer Madness anyone Alcohol is the only known drug that is known to induce violence when miss used.

  • Johnny oneye

    8 million dollar Crock of crap
    The only violence cannabis users indulge in is fuggen up some doritos and peanut butter and chocalate

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  • California Love

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