Friday Feedback: Medical Marijuana a Mistake?

friday feedbackEach Friday, LA Progressive presents a comment we editors find to be most profound, insightful, or just plain irritating.

This week, Jack and Dusty comment on “The Case Against Medical Marijuana” by Kevin Sabet:

Jack said:

C’mon, you know pot is addictive. Get real. Sure, decriminalization is probably a good idea, given that weed is not the worst drug out there. Maybe it doesn’t lead to other drug use, but permissive attitudes in society DO lead to more drug use, and legalizing pot is absolutely a step along that path. While we’re being frank, we should also acknowledge that any drug can play a role in social and economic oppression. Can’t find a job? Hate your work? Whatever, just smoke a joint and you’ll be willing to accept your inability to make changes that could improve your life.

We all know people who are addicted to pot, and most of them are going to die of lung disease or some other nasty cancer due to the poisons they’re sucking into their bodies. Can we stop them? Probably not. But we can certainly try to stop others from tumbling down that lonely destructive road. In fact, our youth might be less willing to start smoking pot if they can see the early aging and health impacts that potheads experience.

medical mariuana

So let’s at least be honest. Pot is probably deadlier than alcohol, but we might want to accept its use in society anyway, just because we really can’t afford to prevent people from poisoning themselves. We could tax the heck out of it, and use the money to prevent abuse and addiction of others. Meanwhile, we have an entire generation that’s already lost to the drug. Let’s let them gracefully subside into their pot-induced nirvana and hope like heck that the next generation doesn’t succumb to this opiate of the masses that makes addicts accept their sorry lot in life.

Dusty responded

Friend, I was on a four county drug abuse council that included representatives of the police departments and sheriffs responsible for administering justice as well as social workers and health care workers including people from emergency wards. The police said that they found no evidence, nor has any other credible source that shows marijuana as addictive; habit forming yes but addictive no. Oh, alcohol on the other hand is definitely addictive and destroys brain cells as well as livers and other body parts etc often leading to dementia tremors.

The police on the council said that they found many drunk drivers also used cigarettes, sometimes marijuana but more likely methamphetamine. Most of the officers said that drunks in comparison to marijuana users were more willing to fight and became combative while the ‘stoners” were laid back and didn’t want to hassle anyone. You might be surprised how many police officers drink and drive.

Many people find speeding in their cars habit forming if not addictive and yet they still have licenses to fly, often even after causing terrible accidents. I would be willing to bet that speeding and/or drunk driving causes many more accidents than marijuana holding to percents of drivers in the categories, i.e. there are many more speeders than the other categories in all probability. What I am getting at is learning to think about things logically and think of proportions, etc. For a while MADD got some action around drunk driving but then people went right back to liquor is quicker and I still see wrecks and drunk drivers.


  1. James says

    C’mon, you know pot isn’t addictive – quit lying to yourself (and the rest of us). . . but I’m sure you’ll continue to push that lie without fail, as it’s one of the only things you have to justify your Slavery-by-Government agenda.

    If you had spent 10 minutes doing your homework before you floated this raft of nonsense, you’d know that every point you made has been disproven and debunked years if not decades ago. . .

    Welcome to the 21st Century, where people take the time to learn about a subject, rather than merely parroting the lies they’ve been fed.

  2. says

    The bottom-line issue is not facts about marijuana. The real issue is justifying any government laws which criminalize actual (or supposed) self-abuse – including so-called ‘controlled substances’ legislation which criminalize not just sales or transactions among persons but a person’s lone behavior.

    What moral, ethical, economic or other benefit is served by a law – whose effect is mainly to threaten government-sponsored punishment – against a behavior which itself is deemed ‘wrong’ or anyhow objectionable mainly because it is a kind of self-punishment?? Or which treats every case of potential but not actual harm to others as if already one of actual harm to others?

    Not only is gratuitous criminalization a made-up excuse for a police state, but indeed – at least for some rebellious adolescents – the very criminalization of an essentially elective behavior is in fact a goad toward that behavior.

    Anti-liberarians – including non-libertarian rightists and some ultra-nanny-state leftists – loudly demand criminalization and then, by way of enforcement, government intrusion into what is primarily or strictly a person’s elective behavior not inherently affecting others. Even in cases where ‘elective’ becomes ‘addictive’, the burden of proof, to justify criminalization – rather than promotion of healing interventions – is on the anti-libertarians.

  3. Scott Peer says

    I don’t understand why this article was published. It is not productive to publish common propaganda falsehoods, and and then allow a rebuttal, and afterwards claim it was a “fair and balanced” article. “Pot is deadlier than alcohol” and “we lost an entire generation to pot” are flat out falsehoods, commonly paid for by the prison-industrial complex. Why not have an article that presents the falsehoods “pot eradicates cancer and poverty” and “pot was the driving force behind the development of the internet”? All are false statements, but the latter are not funded by industry. So I guess the point of the article is that we should spend our time bringing up lies as long as big business supports them?

    • says

      Scott — we probably didn’t do a good job of making this post understandable. This is not an “article” per se. It is a reposting of dialog that was placed in the “comments” section between two readers of the LA Progressive. Dick and I have been very challenged with knowing how to handle comments that are coming from the far right. The “pot is probably deadlier than alcohol” statement was written by the commentor who calls himself “Jack”. I agree that this is a common falsehood but it was included in a comment — we are trying to create a space that allows for freedom of expression with some limitations, of course, but for the most pary, we don’t censor what people write. Our way of combating what the know-nothings write is by encouraging our readers — like yourself — to provide a rational response which we then publish in the column we call “Friday Feedback”. Hope that makes sense.

  4. Faye Hall says

    Marijuana is not a gateway drug, nor is it hallucinogenic. It is much safer than alcohol, and it has true medical benefits. It reduces nausea, anxiety, and pain. It is definitely not addictive – I smoked it frequently when I was a teenager, and then went forty years without ever smoking it again. It didn’t prevent me from academic achievement or career success, either. And – I KNOW that I am not the only one. Marijuana should be prescribed by doctors who don’t want their patients to become addicted to tranquilizers. Marijuana should be decriminalized and the taxes on it should be reasonable. If you want to ban something addictive and destructive to health, try tobacco.

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