Marijuana Paradox

marijuana paradoxFor whatever reason, there is an undeniable marijuana paradox in the US. It is the one drug that, while illegal, is legal. It is the one drug that has been vilified for decades, but has the most dedicated user (abuser?) base in the world. It is promoted as the penultimate cash crop, except that the costs of growing it on an industrial scale and regulated as heavily as it is (which was also a selling point somehow) barely surpass the gains—if there are any gains at all.

Here is another marijuana paradox: if you have a history of using pot in Louisiana, you can get 13 years for two joints. In Colorado and Washington, that same person can walk into a storefront and not only buy more than two joints-worth, but select the exact strain desired from a wide variety sitting behind a glass display cabinet.

The student who is getting federal aid to make it through college can get expelled and ruined with crippling debt for the rest of his or her natural life, but the President of the United States of America has admitted he regularly smoked weed before he was legally able to drink. Although he has given his blessing for marijuana to be sold in Colorado and Washington, it was 50 times more likely to get a drug sentence reduced or commuted by Ronald Reagan, who ushered in the disastrous War on Drugs and Just Say No campaigns, than it is to get a pardon or clemency from President Obama.

However, if marijuana is to be treated as a legitimate medicine, then an open discussion about the negative effects has to be possible. However, mention any of these negative effects to an addict, and comparisons to other legitimate medicines and their undesired effects flow out like water from a faucet (never mind that there is never a refutation of the claim, though). To say marijuana is bad in any way is a war cry, and you better have your circular argument shoes on, because it will be a long one.

Just as we cannot deny that it helps in some circumstances, to stick our heads in the sand and say that marijuana is not a powerful and addictive drug to some people as well simply shows a lack of rationality on the subject.

It is time for that marijuana paradox to end. There has to be a middle ground. Nothing is perfect, and the sooner we accept that, the more realistic our expectations will be. Is marijuana as dangerous as cocaine or heroin? To the average user, of course it is not. However, that does not mean that it cannot negatively impact normal users, and for those of us with a history of abusing drugs and alcohol, there has to be a healthy respect for anything that can take us back to those dark places.

The Marijuana Paradox and You

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