Medical Marijuana is No Worse Than Wine

  Medical Marijuana is No Worse Than Wine

Posted by CN Staff on June 23, 2007 at 20:43:53 PT
By Craig Allison  
Source: Press Democrat 

California --The medical marijuana act brought hope to many Californians -- but vague local ordinances have slowed implementation, even though 70 percent of voters approved Proposition 215.To cut though this "hangover," Sonoma County should apply a simple risk-benefit analysis to ensure ethically and morally correct medical marijuana standards.
The most suitable yardstick for comparison is the Wine Country culture. First note that wine was illegal just 60 years or so ago and that it was exactly this method of analysis that allowed for the repeal of Prohibition.Sonoma County annually derives around $2 billion from the wine industry and related business and tourism. The Wine Country theme is heavily promoted and the flowering economy has generated prosperity and increases in real property value, both undeniable benefits.Yet these benefits come at a steep cost. Drunken driving deaths and families ravaged by alcohol abuse are the downside of our local culture which -- by promoting wine consumption -- supports the de facto consumption of all types of alcohol.In comparison to the alcohol-related damage that is clearly accepted as the price of prosperity, the risk of a few medical marijuana dispensaries around the county is tiny. When compared statistically with dispensaries, mini-marts and liquor stores look like crime hubs.Furthermore, it is most hypocritical to serve free wine with taxpayer-financed street signs pointing the way to the next watering hole, while an unreasonable amount of fear-based controversy continues to plague the medical marijuana movement. As Dan Rather recently reported on HDNet: Marijuana is now the biggest cash crop in the United States, and medical marijuana research is now seen by scientists as one of the most promising areas of pharmacological research since the development of antibiotics.Let the members of our governing bodies be driven by conscience and not by fear or vested economic interests, so that this double standard may no longer exist. Marijuana is quite obviously here to stay. It should be treated as a mainstream subject, not a taboo.Our county demonstrates advanced awareness on so many issues; Proposition 215 deserves this as well.As a respected doctor said to me recently, "What's wrong with a medicine that also makes you feel good?"What indeed?Craig Allison is a Windsor resident who designs and sells music systems.Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)Author: Craig Allison Published: June 23, 2007 Copyright: 2007 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on June 24, 2007 at 22:11:48 PT
Shortly after the Summer of Legalization I rode...
a "cannabus" to Ottawa's "Fill the Hill" Rally to lobby the Canadian federal government to regulate cannabis and not to pass a punitive "decrim" law. Amazingly busriders were toking all the way. Sometime later, I read of a "magic bus" tour planned to take participants around to various Toronto area smoke-your-own cannabis cafes. With the change of government to the Conservative-minority, I didn't hear if the "magic bus" tour got off the ground. The Conservatives are arch-prohibitionists, who wish to introduce mandatory minimums for cannabis sales and growing. They have also encouraged increased raids on grow-ops, medical cannabis compassion clubs, and some "smoke-easies."Meanwhile, Canada's kissing cousin, hemp, continues to provide raw materials for food, clothing and shelter. However, the regulations required to get approval as a hemp grower are very strict. In some provinces, like Ontario, police pressure has effectively kept new applications from being considered: they claim that the similarity in appearance between hemp cannabis and THC cannabis would make their drug war eradication efforts too difficult.CN BC: The House That Hemp Built:
Scarcity Of Straw Bales Leads Couple To Use Tough Cannabis Fibres To Fill Their Walls, Calgary Herald, (23 Jun 2007)
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on June 24, 2007 at 19:09:09 PT
John Tyler Comment 1
I suspect you're right. Love the idea of the cannabis and cannabus tours, too. Sounds cool.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 24, 2007 at 19:07:19 PT
Comment 8
Oh my! That's wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!I also hope that maybe Howard can still save some of the honor of the name of the cowboy, since Bush has done such a fine job of making it a modern day slur. It matters to me. I come from a lot of frontiers people who had to make their living and life that way.
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Comment #12 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 16:32:12 PT
Get on the boat...
the Cannaboat.
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Comment #11 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 16:24:53 PT
Max Flowers
I'm trying to talk up the idea of a cannabis cruise ship too. :)
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Comment #10 posted by Max Flowers on June 24, 2007 at 16:16:28 PT
Oh wait
Now it gets more complicated, I just realized that we would have to keep the driver from getting contact intoxication. I guess there would be have to be a separated partition, a rear room plexiglasssed off with the ventilation system so the driver wouldn't breathe some (and drive more cautiously...?)!
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Comment #9 posted by Max Flowers on June 24, 2007 at 16:12:09 PT
It's tempting... but I already have three domains that I have yet to build the sites for. It is a good idea, a great tourism concept. It could take people on a day-long tour to various notable "cannabis hotspots", and they all could medicate and "recreate" while on the Cannabus. Of course the Cannabus would be also loaded with nice drinks and snacks that could be purchased, and would be outfitted with carbon filtered ventilation so that poor unsuspecting pedestrians wouldn't get a sudden whiff of cannabis aroma as the Cannabus turns the corner...!
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on June 24, 2007 at 13:28:44 PT
Please see story on Newark mayor at Petes site
Howard J. Wooldridge on the HillNEWSLETTER – JUNE 22, 2007A Moment to Remember: Thursday evening I was seated in the gallery section
of 2141 Rayburn, the chamber of the Judiciary Committee of the United States
House of Representatives. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) had assembled a
number of witnesses for a crime summit hearing. With only one witness left,
the moderator said there would be Q&A after the panel concluded.As I began to formulate what I would say, my mouth went as dry as a cotton
ball. My respirations went up and my heart beat faster. This week my
deodorant DID fail me, as my armpits went wet. My hand shot up when she
asked if anyone had a question. I had already positioned myself in the
middle of the room at the back (so the hat would not block anyone’s view).‘Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Howard Wooldridge. I am a retired police
detective from Fort Worth. In the past 36 years, governments have give my
profession over a trillion dollars with which we have arrested some 37
million Americans and filled hundreds of warehouses full of dope. Despite
that, according to the federal government, drugs today are cheaper, stronger
and much easier to find and buy than in 1971. Everything we have done has
been meaningless. I urge the Congress to convene a national, blue-ribbon,
bi-partisan committee to discuss what can be done to reduce crime, death,
disease and drug use in America. Current policy is simply a complete
failure. Thank you.’There were about 75 in the gallery, 3 Congressmen and numerous aides in the
room. One Congressman, Adam Schiff (D-CA) responded to me. ‘I met last week
with Columbian President Uribe. The President told me that despite all
efforts over the years, cocaine is stronger, cheaper and easy to buy;
essentially what you just said. Thank you for your comments.’As I sat down and heard the Congressman respond, my heart took 3 beats that
I thought would break a rib. Gradually, as I listened to other Q&A, my
heart and breathing slowed down, and I stopped staining my dress shirt.A few minutes later we all retired to another room for wine and cheese and
crackers. I walked up to John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the Judiciary
Comm. who had heard my remarks. We wanted to know exactly where in Michigan
I had been an officer and encouraged me continue what I was doing (I told
him about visiting 540 offices) & educating the Congress. He gave me his
business card and asked me to keep his office appraised of any developments.I floated home, my boots never touching the ground and my hat soaked from
the moisture in the clouds.Next Day:  With every seat in the room occupied I said about the same thing
to 140 in the gallery and other Congressmen.  When the same moderator
called up me, she started, “Bring the microphone to the cowboy with the 10
gallon hat. One day, you will have to explain how you measure that gallon
hat thing.’ I replied, ‘I’d be happy to ma’am.’When the panel ended I walked up to explain that to her. She was standing
next to Congressman Scott who suddenly started talking to me about my
remarks. “If we use the word legalize, it just shuts off any discussion or
debate. That’s the problem.” I responded,  ‘I understand and don’t use
the L word, rather use the R word. Talk about what might be reasonable
rules, regulations, controls and management for the currently prohibited
drugs. At the end of the conversation you can casually mention that the
government can not regulate anything which is illegal. Try that.’He smiled and started talking to another.Small steps.
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Comment #7 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 13:06:28 PT
.org is available, so is .net.
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Comment #6 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 13:05:00 PT
Go ahead and register it, I don't drive so a bus isn't going to be a project I can be involved in beyond cheering it on. (But please do invite me to ride in the Cannabus. I'd enjoy it.)
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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on June 24, 2007 at 12:35:12 PT
Nice opinion piece
What a fine editorial. I am a little amazed that the PD printed it, actually. 100% truth. Good to see it get into the paper.  whig: You better register "Cannabus"... if you don't, I will. (and if someone else already hasn't, which seems unlikely the more I think about it) It's a great idea that will be do-able when legalization happens. And yes, Amsterdam is an experience every cannabis lover should have. It's expensive, but a lot of fun. 
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Comment #4 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 10:22:32 PT
Let me put it this way -- I live in California, and I can legally (under state law) use cannabis, but I would still love to visit the Netherlands coffee shops.If I could afford it, and someday maybe I will.Will cannabis bring tourism dollars? Damn right it will.
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Comment #3 posted by Truth on June 24, 2007 at 10:01:17 PT
You can ask the Dutch or ask folks in Marc Emory's neighborhood in Vancouver if there are a lot of dollars flowing from the cannabis tourists. Ask them also, do these foreigners that are throwing around their dollars in a hash bar more violent then the soccer fan tourist that comes and throws their dollars around in the alcohol bars. Innocent folks are killed by the drinkers. The cannabists drive with more caution, this is shown is study after study. Double standards in the way we handle alcohol and cannabist? You be the judge.
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Comment #2 posted by whig on June 24, 2007 at 09:40:49 PT
Why not a bus tour of the cannabis country? Nobody can object if the driver does not partake.
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on June 24, 2007 at 07:15:14 PT
wine and cannabis tour
I just had a thought that when cannabis is legal again, that the vineyards on the wine country tour etc. will set aside a few acres to cultivate some fine cannabis as an additional offering. I can imagine something like the Sonoma County Wine and Cannabis Tour or the Napa Valley Wine and Cannabis Tour. The politicians and business guys would say what a great idea this is, how it is an asset to the country, how much increased economic activity there is now, more employment opportunities, and how glad they are that they thought of it, etc., etc. I know, it’s not quite right, but I suspect that is the way it may happen.
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