Monday, October 31, 2011

"Doesn't Medical Cannabis Send the Wrong Message to Children?"

     Well, now that my break is over, I am ready to resume the blog.  Every now and then we need to take breaks, right?  Anyway,  I will be implementing some changes to my blog starting today.  For the foreseeable future, I have decided to focus primarily on medical cannabis education.  If there is pressing news on the political front or elsewhere, I will attempt to cover it.
     Today I present the first of many questions that people unfamiliar with medical cannabis ask those who support its use: "Supporting medical marijuana sends the wrong message to our kids, doesn't it?" Let me begin by citing the state-sponsored California Student Survey (CSS), which notes that marijuana use among teens rose annually until 1996 - then dropped significantly in subsequent years! By the way, 1996 was the year California'a Proposition 215 passed into law.  CSS researchers found that, "There is no evidence supporting that the passage of Proposition 215 increased marijuana use during this period." ( Skager, Rodney; Austin, Greg; and Wong, Mamie, “Marijuana Use and the Response to Proposition 215 Among California Youth, a Special Study From the California Student Substance Use Survey (Grades 7, 9, and 11) 1997-98.”)
This drop in teen usage has been consistent with the passage of compassionate-care laws in other states as well. ( O’Keefe, Karen et al., “Marijuana Use by Young People: The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws.” Marijuana Policy Project, June 2008)
     In addition to these findings, one has to ask himself, "What is really sending the wrong message: medical marijuana or the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of our current system of prohibition?"  Criminalizing sick and injured people for choosing their own health care by way of a natural plant is sending the wrong message to children.  Dishonesty by disseminating false "information" through PSAs and anti-marijuana campaigns is sending the wrong message to children.  Arguing that sick people should continue to suffer for the "children's sake" is sending the wrong message to children.
     Education is the right message for children.  They should be taught the difference between use and abuse.  The Physicians' Desk Reference (the industry standard in regards to FDA-approved drug information) includes over 1,100 of the most commonly prescribed drugs - NONE of which should be used for fun!  We do not teach our children to play with the pills found in a medicine cabinet.  Do you remember the time you first learned that cocaine was used in hospitals as an analgesic?  Did that cause confusion in your mind? Probably not.  Humans generally have the mental faculties to discern between good and bad uses of something.  I personally support gun ownership.  I also carry the responsibility to educate my children that guns are tools that can be used properly or improperly.  Why does society have a double-standard when it comes to cannabis?

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