The Top 10 Reasons You Should Be For Cannabis Legalization Even If You Don’t Smoke.
By Alexander Nachman
I want to have a discussion a very pointed and direct dialogue between you and me and I really need some feedback, because I am struggling to understand who is exactly against cannabis at this point and why? I believe I present a fairly logical progression of reasons to be in favor of the plant, but I don’t want to miss anyone or mis-characterize anyone, so by all means let me know who you are, that despite the laundry list of reasons that will follow you still don’t stand in favor of the legalization of cannabis. I really am curious as to who you are. So kindly ask please inform us all who you are and what you are thinking?
In my mind the very first and number one reasons to be for Cannabis is it serves as medicine to treat a variety of diseases, illnesses and ailments. Epilepsy, Cancer, Chrohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, Cerebral Palsy, PTSD are among the bigger names that Cannabis is very helpful in treating. Truly the lists of uses are much further reaching from a medicinal standpoint and moreover Cannabis provides its users with a positive sense of well-being and pain relief.
Now according to Gallop, several months ago, Medicinal Marijuana already has a 75% approval rating in the United States. This leaves me a group of 25% of people that aren’t in favor of the medical use of Cannabis. Well, who are you? Throughout my numerous conversations regarding this exact topic, I have come to believe that the 25% is made up of three main groups within our society. The first of which is Big Pharma and I totally understand why Big Pharma would be against Cannabis as Medicine, as it directly interferes with their business model. With Cancer being a 95-billion-dollar industry a year alone. Why in the world would Big Pharma want to endorse cannabis based therapies when they are already making a fortune selling their treatment products to the public? So, some part the 25% of medical cannabis naysayers, I believe is comprised of the people who are with Big Pharma or benefit from the use or sale of their products or perhaps they married to someone who benefits in this way.
Second, is a group that I must deem as “ignorant” and I apologize for the terminology but I don’t know what to call someone who disavows all medicinal benefits to cannabis. This is the group that proclaims that it isn’t medicine and everyone just wants to “get high”. It is astonishing that despite all the medical research and despite the anecdotal evidence shown by individual patient’s improvement when cannabis is used as medicine, that everyone isn’t understanding of the fact that cannabis is indeed very effective therapeutic agent. Perhaps I have miss labeled these folks as “ignorant”, but certainly at a minimum they have not done their homework and are horribly under-educated regarding how cannabis works in the body and the brain and exactly what it does beneficially. Most of them have never heard of the endocannabinoid system let alone realize they have one.
The last group I encounter is an offshoot of the “ignorant group” and they are the “hypocrites”. Unfortunately, this group seems to know what is best for everyone in the universe and they have decided that there are enough “drugs” on the market and we have enough problems so we should not add more. These individuals could not possibly conceive of cannabis as a solution for our society and a viable less toxic alternative. They are not interested in cannabis as an alternative to anything, but are more than fine with of the individual freedom to consume of deadly alcohol and cigarettes. Theses hypocrites are the same group that claim that Cannabis is a gateway drug, despite a recent study from the University of Florida, detailing that alcohol was the true gateway drug. This group is also undereducated on the topic and seems to maintain a “holier than thou” approach to cannabis and overall is apathetic to the rest of it and is unaffected by their position as they do not need medicine or use cannabis themselves. Do you support Cannabis because if its medicinal value or are you one of these the other groups?
So you won’t condone cannabis from a medicinal standpoint? Let me see if another reason will resonate with you? As I feel there are plenty of other reasons that you may want to vote in favor of the cannabis initiative or amendment on the ballot in your state.
“It’s the economy stupid!” Let’s face it one of the largest concerns among American citizens is the state of the U.S. Economy. In fact, not only will cannabis positively affect the overall health of the American economy, I would stipulate that it will contribute to the formation of a whole new Industry for America, as well as, create jobs and all while funding our educational system. Surely, some of these concepts hold value with you as an American?
Obviously, everyone from time to time feels an economic pinch; however, I feel we are doing ourselves a big disservice as a nation by not examining the immediate economic impact that legalization will have for the United States.
Benefits such as, the availability additional tax revenues without raising the individual income tax rate, increased municipal funds, increased tourism and the ability to put a valuable cash crop commodity in the hands of the American farmer and the American people. It was required that hemp be grown nationwide in the 1800’s, the reason was the value that it held because of its ability to make a variety of products from food to clothing to industrial materials.
At this point in time, cannabis and hemp can be used to create more products than ever, roughly 50,000 industrial uses. The likes of which would spur a new industrial revolution in the United States. Products such as cleaners, building materials, polymers, textiles, paper, food, fuel and anything that is made from plastic can all be made from hemp and cannabis, this doesn’t even begin to mention the medicine that can be produced. Don’t forget Hemp is eco-friendly, uses no deadly pesticides and needs less water than a Cotton field to grow. Additionally, Hemp is a much more sustainable option than paper made from timber and currently available fossil fuels. So many positives for the American citizen its astounding. Now I fully understand that some companies may be against the plant for their own greedy economic reasons and the idea of a new industry changing everything is perceived as a threat to their bottom line. This would explain why alcohol, tobacco, and the privatized prisons regularly lobby against cannabis. The “sindustries” believe with another option available as competition for the American consumer’s leisure time dollar will negatively affect their profitability. The for-profit prisons fear a change in the marijuana drug laws as it will lead to lower incarceration rates and that is bad for their bottom line, in fact it is listed among the risk factors to their business model in these types of companies annual reports. I fully understand the motives behind these groups’ behaviors, not that I feel that they are morally or ethically correct or in the best interest of the United States of America. However, these companies are accountable to their shareholders and not the will of the American public. I question why big alcohol and tobacco might not adapt their business model with the, but the simple truth is they don’t need to and they have no incentive to participate, as they are already making a tremendous amount of money from their “soft drug” monopoly.
Certainly job creation comes hand in hand with the formation of new industry opportunities in agriculture and industrial products, these jobs would not be localized if prohibition was repealed and cannabis descheduled it could be grown nationwide. Hemp has a short growing cycle and potentially a year round growing season in favorable climates. Showcasing the many positives to legalization, states currently utilizing a recreational legal system are revealing decreased alcohol related and opiate related fatalities. Meanwhile, other benefits include increased tourism, decreased unemployment and economic improvement in these states.
Lastly, education is one of the greatest beneficiaries of cannabis legalization. I think almost everyone can agree that our schools are underfunded. Important programs such as Physical Education, Music and Art are all being slashed, meanwhile, our teachers struggle to raise money for simple school supplies and their salaries are insufficient as a living wage. Beyond the obvious conflict of interest economically for the aforementioned companies who are you that you are not in favor of the American economy the creation of revitalizing new American industry the premise behind quality job creation for our citizens and our educational system.
I am not certain but if you are not for all four of those things as an American, I would tend to believe that you are an “anarchist” or at best an “isolationist” that is selfishly only concerned about themselves and not concerned with the overall health of the American economy and the strength of the country as a whole. Nor are they concerned about access to high quality jobs for Americans, or improvements in our educational system, so that future generations can learn from our mistakes. I find opposition to these concepts regarding legalization and its impact on the American economy, to be appalling to say the least and not very patriotic. If you are in this group, please let me know who you are because so far I would have to view you as anti-American.
To take this concept one-step further I will ask any American who stands in opposition of cannabis legalization if they are for terrorism and organized crime? It is simple, Cannabis is currently a 50-billion-dollar illegal market in the United States, keeping the market illegal is a mistake, because instead of the state, or the country being the beneficiary of that market place and the corresponding tax dollars that it creates. Let alone the additional funds for all sorts of positive uses within our society, instead it goes to the black market which is mostly comprised of terrorists, drug cartels, organized criminals and as well as “wanna be gangsters.”
I do not now know anyone that is looking to support organized crime or fund terrorism. I am uncertain exactly how much revenue is derived from cannabis by organized crime organizations. Recently a study was released stating that illegal drugs funded 40% of all terrorist operations. The process of legalization will significantly reduce funds received by organizations that are intent on doing America harm. All while giving millions of Americans access to valuable medicine and a less toxic alternative for their cultural enjoyment and funding programs that benefit us all economically.
Again, I am at a little bit of a loss here to describe the actual term for a person that would be in this particular group, I would have to say that someone that stands in support of terrorism against the United States could only logically be a “terrorist” or a “terrorist sympathizer.” Furthermore, I speculate that if you are in support or organized crime then you are a “criminal” or benefit from criminal activities. Certainly if you are in this group, you are only interested in the plant for your illicit gains. You do not test the product that you sell, nor do you verify the age of your consumer. I stand firmly in support of a safe and responsible industry in which laboratory testing and age verification is a standard operating procedure. I do not wish to fund these detrimental groups and have us as Americans lose twice. I would prefer to eliminate the black market and have the U.S benefit from legal commerce.
Racism, social injustice and civil rights. It is sad to say, but beyond the greed of corporations and special interest, the single greatest reason that marijuana is illegal today is based upon the smear campaign and reefer madness spread by Henry Angslinger. The racist rhetoric and propaganda that was spouted in an attempt to randomly harass and pat down African Americans and Latino Americans in the late 1930’s in an effort to stigmatize the plant. This racial divide and the social injustice that occurred with the onset of prohibition, roughly 80 years ago, is so wide and deep now that I cannot see the bottom. Unfortunately, 51% more black males are incarcerated for the same crime as their white counter parts. I do believe that a repeal of prohibition would go a long way to improving cultural relations by acknowledging the mistakes of the past, and being more tolerant of non-violent behavior. I do know that young black males live in fear of the police and random unnecessary harassment and legalization would lend a little bit more peace of mind.
Furthermore, our prisons are overcrowded and with mandatory minimum sentencing, and each state stands to lose millions of dollars every year by housing, clothing, administering medical care and monitoring these non-violent offenders. Prisons, should be reserved for real criminals, rapists, murderers, and thieves, illicit or violent behavior in any way should have the stiffest penalties. In this way, we can ensure American safety as well as being fiscally responsible with the allocation of tax revenues at the state level.
Please, by all means help me because I really want to understand, if you are not against prohibition based on its racist and bigoted history and you support continued racist policies and social injustice? Who are you? I believe based on these facts, technically it would make you a “racist” or perhaps somehow, you think you are a part the master race and you don’t care about anybody of another race apart from yours and care only about the supremacy and treatment of your own kind. Either way, not exactly the type of person that is embracing true American values. What are your values? What do you stand for? As a united states citizen won’t you take a stand against civil rights injustice and for human rights? Who are you?
Are you Religious?
Now, we all know that America is based on religious freedom and other personal freedoms without the fear of persecution, including certain unalienable rights, “among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Sound familiar? It is the primary precept in The Declaration of Independence, “in God We Trust”, is printed on our money and many people in America declare themselves religious, so perhaps, “because the God says so” and the reasoning that God made the plant, will be a righteous enough reason to vote for legalization. And seriously what could be more religious than a plant that promotes healing, as well as good will, well-being and fellowship. Now let’s examine this a little closer because some of the people who consider themselves religious might really take offense with my assertion that Cannabis is in line with their religious beliefs. I truly, believe this is in some part due to the bastardization of the plant as a drug, done by crazy people and sinners. The culture propaganda of fear associated with the use of Cannabis aka “reefer madness”. However, if Cannabis was taken at face value, as another just another plant that in the beginning when God created heaven and earth that was provided by God for our use and well-being, I think you must rethink your stance or rethink your religion. From The beginning I was told that God was All Good, All Powerful and All Knowing, also that God created everything we see and that all of it is a part of his master plan. Following suit, if you follow this thinking in your religious beliefs, one would have to concede that God being all good would not knowingly create something that would cause us harm, without there being a very good reason, reference the pharaohs and the plagues for that perhaps, but I believe this is a very different scenario and that God created this plant for healing purposes. Continuing the thought process further, if some other dark force was at work here looking to cause us harm God being all knowing and all powerful would be aware of this fact and stop it in his benevolence.
But, don’t take my word on it, let’s look at the bible and turn to Genesis 1:29 which states, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food”, finishing the verse with, “I give every green plant for food.” Sounds pretty clear to me, so to those of you who are religious I say to you support this healing gift from God that has the power to heal so many who are hurting. To oppose it is to oppose Gods word and natural order. Now if you want to contradict suddenly everything you have been preaching since the beginning of the church go right ahead but you are doing the opposite of what the bible states as God’s will. In fact, many historians speculate that the holy anointing oil that God Instructed Moses to make in Exodus 30: 22-26 contained among other things “Cane” or “Keneh-bosem” which is believed to be Cannabis. We all know its healing power; couldn’t we just praise the lord for providing such a gift? I completely understand if you want to change your theory regarding the God concept and the corresponding attributes, but if you are going to hold fast to those ideals, Cannabis should not be excluded as a part of Gods plan. Alternatively, if you want to proclaim yourself an “atheist”, I am completely okay with your right to believe as you wish and this eliminates the conflict of interest regarding the master plan and the attributes of God. For the rest of you I say God bless you and welcome you in divine light into the pro-cannabis movement.
Have you still not found a reason to believe? A reason that you can support Cannabis let me make one final appeal to common sense regarding your human rights. Personally, I believe it is unconstitutional for the government to say you can’t grow a plant at your house, the Mexican government recently made this exact determination, yet we are the land of the free and the home of the brave, right? Quite frankly, the United States government, knows that cannabis is medicine and they have known about the medicinal benefits for a very long time. They also know all about the many lies that have been told regarding this plant and its racist history, repealing prohibition is admitting to it and no one wants to admit to being a liar or to suppressing the truth or creating a system that is social unjust. The problem is this is very much the truth and now with more doctors, patients and individual citizens standing up in favor or legalization the time is now to stand up for your rights. The fact is you don’t have to be sick to enjoy cannabis and you don’t have to be pro-marijuana to be against prohibition and to comprehend the many benefits that legalization offers our society. I do wish to speak however, in these terms, what if you were sick or someone you did love was horribly ill and cannabis was the medicine that worked best, but in your state it was illegal? Would you care then? Would you be an advocate if your child was experiencing numerous violent seizures a day? If your child lived in a catatonic state on pharmaceutical medication, but on cannabis could smile, walk, talk and partake in activities relatively seizure free? Would you support legalization then?
If the answer is yes, if it was your child or your loved one was sick then you would care and you would support legalization and you would stand up for their rights to access the best medical treatment and care available to them, then I say count your blessings! Feel damn fortunate you and your loved ones aren’t sick! But I plead with you to Choose to stand with the veterans, the doctors, the nurses, the mother and fathers of sick children, stand for the aunts and uncles and the sons and daughters, the nieces and nephews of all the other people around the nation, people you may know and others perhaps not, but show some humanity for your fellow citizens and allow for cannabis. I implore you to care about more than yourself and your sliver of the world and take a stand as an American that we all should be able to do with our own bodies as we see fit and seek natural treatments and alternatives that are safe and effective. Furthermore, I say that we all should be disgusted that the federal government that has enabled a system in which Cannabis is accepted as medicine in certain states and not others, this is an enormous human rights violation and constitutes medical discrimination, in my book. Please federal government, this is ridiculous, either it is not medicine and not good for anyone or it is and it should be made available to everyone. In the meantime, we have families uprooting themselves, becoming medical refugees at great cost and personal loss, moving half way across the country to have access to this medicine, because in their home state they are a criminal for saving their child’s life and in a state like Colorado they are a responsible and a concerned caregiver and parent. Seriously, what have we become animals? Are some pigs more equal than others? Its ok over there, but not here, how does that even remotely make sense? It’s time we make the government do what is right. To question their authority and whether or not they are interested in empowering our citizens and truly stand for equality, opportunity, personal freedom and against injustice. What do you say? Are you with me?
No? If your answer is no, if you still can’t you can’t stand up for Cannabis legalization from a human rights position and all the other reasons listed. Geez, I really don’t know what to say, except according to this survey, seemingly you pretty apathetic and with and have very little regard for the plight or well-being of your other fellow citizens and I guess there is no law against being unconcerned, but it’s a rather selfish stance. Certainly, I hope we aren’t neighbors and my house isn’t on fire because you can’t be bothered, to call the fire department, as you just don’t care.
In the end, I guess the big picture for me breaks down into three main points. First, you don’t have to be sick or partake in cannabis consumption in order to recognize the many benefits legalization offers us as a society, in the form of food, medicine and other industrial products, not to mention the numerous economic benefits, and improvements that can be made by repealing prohibition and creating a safe and responsible legal industry. Second if you aren’t for cannabis, I want to ask not only who are you, but what type of person are you that not one of these sways your vote? The reason I ask is, I have difficulty with the logic of someone that isn’t against prohibition and their relative inability to provide me with a real and valid reason they stand firmly opposed. Unfortunately, when I answer my own question, I find you to be an undere-ducated, hypocrite, who potentially is very bright, but instead works for big pharma and cares more about profits than people. Or possibly an anarchist or isolationist who doesn’t give a damn about the American economy or the corresponding infrastructure, job market or our educational system, whatever you want to describe it as, I call it un-American. Does this sound a little harsh? Just remember that some of the people that oppose this movement are indeed terrorists, organized criminals and wanna be gangsters, do you think that those groups are pro America? By opposing responsible cannabis reform, intrinsically, you are supporting organized crime and fueling their violent agenda in cities across America every day. Taking it a step further, you not only support violence, you support hatred, as who else supports racist language and policies that target minorities, other than hate mongers and racists? Lastly, you don’t believe in the teachings of the bible or American values. Truthfully, I really don’t care what religion you are or aren’t, as being a believer doesn’t make you a better person, any more than being a non-believer does. However, the bible teaches us about loving one another and living an honest life and as Americans we pride ourselves on being good people, caring people and we believe in helping others. When a disaster occurs in our community we all pull together for the common good. Can we not admit that the prohibition of cannabis has been a costly disaster and has been very detrimental to America society and culture on several levels?
Seriously? Yes or No? Because for my money, if you can’t see fit and support legalization in some way now, I have to believe you are a truly nasty individual with very little regard for humanity, no sense of morality or ethics and personally, I don’t want “those” kinds of people in my country, over for dinner and for god sakes if we are friends on Facebook block me.
WHO ARE YOU?
Alexander Nachman is a prominent cannabis advocate, spokesman and investor. For more information, visit his website at: www.alexandernachman.com