By Bonnie Davidson
Bonnie & Box Of Chocolates 

Pot Problems


Opinions are like shoes. Everyone has got them. Not all of them fit and each person has an acquired taste and comfort zone. When it comes to marijuana and legalization, there's no difference. You'll find a whole array of opinions, from the adamant against legalization, to the very pro pot. With the local tribes legalizing medical pot, and a vote on the way for recreational pot, it's probably a good time to have open discussions with each other on marijuana. By open discussions, I mean being open to the opposing view and trying to gather the real facts.

A lot of the problems with pot problems and solutions is the vast amount of misinformation out there. You can Google either side of the spectrum and find something to back up your argument. Whether I personally side with one side or the other doesn't really matter in the long run, because even with the power of the pen, everyone seems fairly steadfast in their opinions and sometimes won't even listen to facts.

I read an article over the weekend that had me a little befuddled. A woman in Washington State, not far from where the in-laws live, believed so whole heartedly that pot was only positive, that she gave her son what's called a “goo ball.” It's a cannabis infused snack of peanut butter. The boy is just 13-years-old. She also was quoted in the article saying that she's perfectly capable as a parent high, and that if it was legal to give her children marijuana, she absolutely would.

I thought, whoa, now there's an extreme side of the spectrum. Even with proven research that developing brains of children, marijuana can be very harmful. Not to mention that when you're high you have a sense of euphoria, so if an accident were to happen, your sense of urgency wouldn't be there. While the pro side is claiming propaganda on negative aspects of the drug, this to me is just a little on the nutty side. I have also had discussions with people who vehemently argued that marijuana was not classified as a hallucinogen.

So lets take a look at the other side of the spectrum. Yes, in fact there are proven medical purposes to marijuana. In particular cancer patients can have some major benefits as not only to the cannabinoids in the plant help with pain relief, the THC also can help with appetite and nausea. People who have seizures, Tourett's syndrome and multiple sclerosis also can have some major benefits. The truth is, most of these are chronic issues that won't just go away. They are major medical diagnosis that will have an impact on quality of life.

There's quite a difference between those issues and maybe just suffering from mild pain from a previous accident that ibuprofen could take care of. Trying to regulate medical marijuana can be very difficult. How do doctor's decide if you are in chronic pain? How does law enforcement deal with some people being allowed an illegal drug, while others aren't? I think a lot of the problem with pot is that it's currently on a case by case system. It leaves too much room for people taking advantage and mistakes.

With the possibility of recreational pot within the county lines, I think it will blur the lines a little bit more and that the unintended consequences that come with it could be a little more than what the tribal council bargained for.

It's definitely a tricky subject, with only complicated solutions. With legalization in Washington and Colorado, the black market activity has increased and the tax money that the states hoped would flow isn't quite up to what they projected. Clearly, there's got to be a way to do it differently.

One of the biggest problems is that there is limited research because of the classification of the drug. Most of the research is coming from Europe.

I think back to articles from the 1950s, when doctors prescribed cigarettes to pregnant women. Everyone smoked, some drank, while at the office. If you haven't watched an episode of Mad Men you might take it upon yourself to see how different the world was then and get a glimpse of it. Are we in that world now? Where the pot is plentiful and everyone takes part only to find out years down the road that it's the cause of cancer or disease? Will that burn out guy on That 70s Show become normal? Will legalizing increase access to children? So many questions are still unanswered and speculation only gets you so far.

All I know about myself, is that I'm not one that likes to gamble with my brain. I like my brain. I like my personality, and the Lord knows I don't need to get the munchies to add to my shape. For now I'd rather wait for the other guinea pigs to take part and find out those unintended consequences. Pro or negative, in the long run what really will matter is the facts and the outcome.


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