A Cannabis Conundrum
What’s your take?
By N3 Editorial Team
Or as the state of Michigan refers to it ‘Marihuana’.
Because…. well….because that’s how they spell it as do about 4 other states and no one else in the universe.
And now there is new medical marijuana legislation passed ;last year in Lansing due to take effect in December. Laws that will alter the economic landscape of our state.
Headway Coalition, the collection of folks from all over the community who work together to prevent substance abuse held a workshop last week attended by law enforcement, city and township officials, human service agency people and members of the community on the issue.
Mark Guzniczak of NCEDO/The Right Place broached the subject during the most recent county commission meeting when asked by a board member and our reporting of it set the pages of Near North Now on fire with interest in the subject.
The laws have many twists and turns and can be confusing, but after all they came from our sage and sagacious solons in our capital city where clarity clearly occupies a back seat to obfuscation when it comes to legislative language.
So what does it mean? Will our townships and cities make provisions for the facilities to do business within their jurisdiction? Does it foretell a later legalization of recreational use, a measure that will more than likely find its way to the state ballot in November of 2018?
It is, as Mr. Guzniczak said at the board meeting, an emotional subject. There are people on both ends of the spectrum of opinions on this one and all parts between.
The only thing most agree on is that it is indeed coming. There will be local facilities because there is a lot of money to be gained by having them. Money that can go a long way to help municipalities that are struggling and to allow places who are doing well the additional resources to enhance their area.
Facilities will be springing up throughout the state if the pattern gleaned from other states is followed here and that pattern has also led to legalizing recreational use as well.
It’s truly a sea change. Some compare it to the end of Prohibition the 13 year social experiment that gave rise to an unprecedented network of organized crime. After all, if people want something and that something is illegal there will always be someone there to help supply it, right?
There are differences of course. Alcohol had a lengthy run of legality prior to Prohibition and although ‘dry’ areas still exist-a fact vacationers to some areas of the south have occasionally discovered with less than unbridled joy- nationwide it remains pretty available to consumers.
Right now more than half of the states have legalized Medical Marijuana and a handful have also legalized recreational use with a number of initiatives underway in others.
And there are inherent conflicts because under federal law, cannabis is treated like every other controlled substance, such as cocaine and heroin. The federal government places every controlled substance in a schedule, in principle according to its relative potential for abuse and medicinal value. Under the Controlled Substance Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon nearly half a century ago, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, which means that the federal government views cannabis as highly addictive and having no medical value.
Current Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed the opinion that marijuana is nearly as dangerous as opiates despite deaths from opiate overdose outnumbering those from marijuana by about a 33,000+ to 0 margin in 2015 (Center for Disease Control and Prevention statistics)
OK that’s one opinion.
Write to us using the form on our Pulse page and tell us how you feel about the changes coming to our state and more importantly to our region.
And let the dialogue begin.
“It is not a medicine. You don’t know what’s in it. If there were compelling scientific and medical data supporting Marijuana’s medical benefits that would be one thing. But the data is not there.” -Andrea Barthwell, MD / Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George W. Bush
“It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes Marijuana is the only thing that works… It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve Marijuana. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”-Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Neurosurgeon.
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