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The Freedom To Use Medical Marijuana

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USA -- Proponents of medical marijuana prohibition argue that the medical use of marijuana is too dangerous to allow because it is addictive. Putting aside the fact that doctors safely recommend much more dangerous substances than medical marijuana, like cocaine and morphine, consider for the sake of argument that prohibitionists are correct in their assertion that medical marijuana is addictive. So what? Consider how a free country generally handles addictions.

Coffee is addictive. Every morning, all across America, there are people (many of them idling in their cars at a drive-thru) getting java. What happens when these people do not get their coffee on time and as anticipated? Other than a little irritability, not much happens. People seem trustable enough to drink coffee, even though that behavior often results in a life-long addiction.
Tobacco is addictive. Every moment of every day and night, all across America, there are people smoking tobacco. What happens when these “smokers” do not get to light up their cigarettes on time and as anticipated? Other than a lot of irritability, not much happens. Despite the enormous number of tobacco-related deaths each year, adults are nevertheless trusted to moderate their private use of tobacco.

Alcohol is addictive. Usually in the evening, but not always, there are people all across America drinking alcohol. What happens when these people do not get their alcohol on time and as anticipated? Well, depending upon the individual’s level of past alcohol use, there are varying degrees of negative consequences associated with alcohol withdrawal, e.g., headache, loss of appetite, and even seizures in extreme cases. Despite the enormous number of alcohol-related deaths each year, adults are nevertheless trusted to moderate their private use of alcohol.

If Americans can be trusted to get “wired,” “buzzed,” and/or “drunk,” then they can be trusted to use medical marijuana while under the supervision of a licensed physician. Compared to coffee, tobacco, and alcohol, medical marijuana is an innocuous substance. There has never been a single death associated with the use of medical marijuana. Never. The most dangerous side effect of medical marijuana is the criminal law, but the benefits of the plant are too long to list for some people suffering from cancer, AIDS, MS, and other chronic diseases or ailments. Why can’t these people have the choice of a medicine that can be grown practically for free?

Cannabis is more closely related to willow bark (aspirin) than the poppy plant (heroin), yet the Federal Government currently classifies medical marijuana along with heroin because it thinks medical marijuana is a joke. It is not a joke. Free countries should not punish people for following the advice of their doctor. It is past time for Congress to recognize the obvious: there is a distinction between the use of marijuana and the abuse of marijuana. How can the ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person identify this difference? Easy: just ask your doctor for the answer.

Kenneth Michael White is an attorney and the author of “The Beginning of Today: The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937” and “Buck” (both by PublishAmerica 2004).

For more information visit: http://www.thebeginningoftoday.com/

Source: Frontiers of Freedom (VA)
Author: Kenneth Michael White
Published: July 04, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Frontiers of Freedom
 

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