Marijuana ignites debate
Legalization causes more headaches than it cures
JEFFREY TANGNEY | Copy Editor
If the state of Kansas were to legalize marijuana, as some other states have already done, then it would bring about some negative consequences and would set a dangerous precedent by allowing for partial legalization of certain things. It is in the best interest of Kansas, and every other state, to ignore the support for legalization and continue as it has for years.
Legalizing marijuana, even for medical purposes, would almost certainly lead to abuses of the system. How does the state decide which medical cases warrant the use of marijuana? Have they tested every disease to figure out which disease is alleviated by marijuana? A bigger question I have is why any researcher would decide to see whether marijuana helps with a disease in the first place. It doesn’t make sense that they would test an illegal substance in the first place, considering that it wouldn’t be allowed for public use even if it helped. Even it did make sense to test it, there are surely other means of obtaining the same benefits without resorting to illegal substances. Am I really expected to believe that marijuana is the only substance in the world that will bring relief to certain medical conditions?
Even if we accept that marijuana helps with certain conditions, there still remains the fact that it is illegal. Medical benefits are not a good enough reason to legalize marijuana. The fact that it helps doesn’t mean it should be allowed. If it was found that cocaine eliminated clogged arteries, would it be OK to legalize it for obese people? No, and I doubt you would find many people who would argue that it should. The main push for medical marijuana legalization is that it may lead to legalization of marijuana for all people, regardless of medical condition. While I feel it would be a mistake to do so, I also believe that legalizing it entirely is a better choice than legalizing it for medical uses. This may seem surprising, but I can’t think of any other substance that is illegal except in certain situations.
This may seem trivial, but I fear that medical marijuana opens a Pandora’s box of sorts. Partial legalization of an illegal substance would set a precedent that could allow other illegal substances to be allowed, if they are proven to have benefits. It could also allow other illegal acts to be allowed, if it is proven that they were beneficial to those affected. The legal system should not allow such a conflict to exist. I think it’s much simpler to say this is illegal or this is legal rather than saying this is illegal, except under the following conditions and in the following states assuming you took the following steps in doing said illegal activity. Medical marijuana is an unnecessary complication of an already complicated legal system and it would be far better to say either it’s illegal or it’s legal.
I would say it is best to keep it illegal entirely. There are no benefits from legalization that can’t be found through other methods. The fact that it helps with certain medical conditions is something that could be duplicated through other means. The precedent it sets could prove to be a major headache in the current legal system and should be avoided at all costs.
Kansas should cash in on the crop
Michael Piori | Senior in Communication
Humanity’s long, often dysfunctional relationship with cannabis sativa (Marijuana) dates back to at least 6000 B.C. when the Chinese first discovered hemp seeds as a food source. The marijuana seed, which contains no THC (Tetra-hydro-Cannabinol), is the second highest in protein next to the soybean. The Chinese, who caught on to the benefits of cannabis early, provide the first evidence of medical marijuana.
Cannabis medicinal properties owe their discovery to Emperor Shenong, also known as “The Devine Farmer,” revered for teaching both agriculture and medicine in ancient China. Emperor Shenong took it upon himself to personally taste hundreds of wild herbs to test for their healing properties. The results were published in The Divine Farmers Herb-root classic, which included a flowery passage recommending cannabis as a “superior treatment for constipation, ‘female weakness,’ gout, malaria, rheumatism and absentmindedness.”
Now, nearly 5000 years later, we live in a culture that breathlessly advertises beer and erection-pills during Sunday afternoon baseball games, but denies the sick and dying access to a healing herb!
When the issue of medical marijuana reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 in Gonzalez V Raich, the majority ruled that a chronically ill woman, living in a state that had legalized medical use of Cannabis, who was growing her own plant on her own property for her own personal consumption on doctor’s orders to help save her own life, was somehow engaged in “interstate commerce.” And so a supposedly conservative court allegedly interested in upholding the idea of “state’s rights,” justified invoking the Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution to defend the federal government’s policy of entering California and enforcing the Controlled Substance Act – i.e. arresting Angel Raich, who suffered from an inoperable brain tumor at the time of the trial.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have approved legalization of medicinal marijuana use, but America still has the shameful distinction of watching its family farmers go broke in a country suffering from an obesity crisis. Don’t be fooled, Marijuana although illegal, is the nation’s No. 1 cash crop, creating an estimated $40 billion black market of untaxed and unregulated income for farmers of a more illicit disposition. Sixteen states have already approved medical marijuana laws so far, despite occasional meddling from the federal government. More states will certainly join the list as voters increasingly express their preference for common sense and compassion over a heartless, ineffective and never-ending war on some drugs and the people who use them!