Legislation and the “Good ole Boys” Club
How many people reading this post knows what a “Dry County” is? For those of you who don’t know, allow me to enlighten you a bit. A Dry County was a finely concocted idea, brought forth from the conservative “good ole boys” in the Southern Bible belt of America in which to limit alcoholism by abolishing the sale of it within a particular county. Arkansas is riddled with these, and for the life of me, I can’t hardly see the value of this system apart from feeling like you reside in an area where the best type of socialization you’ll get all week is by taking a trip to your local Wal-Mart, or dare I say it, reluctantly dragging your butt to church. The only thing I can figure, is they think that maybe they can bore the younger generation into church. I say this because I know firsthand that it isn’t doing shit to keep the alcoholics clean. Outside of hurting the economy in that county and rendering it essentially a retirement hen-house,it’s not of much use what so ever.
Why can’t we stop fighting this redundant century long battle with alcohol prohibition, and move on to modern and pressing concerns, such as the decriminalization of marijuana? I’m sure that by now most everyone doesn’t need me to compare the two substances side by side to know which substance is the more dangerous of the two, however, how well do you know how the side effects of THC in cannabis stack up to the side effects of something more common within the home, such as Motrin for an example?
The side effects associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol):
- Feelings of Euphoria
- Decreased interest in completing tasks
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased heart rate
- Feelings of panic or fear (paranoia)
Side effects of Motrin
- upset stomach, mild heartburn, diarrhea, constipation
- bloating, gas
- dizziness, headache, nervousness
- skin itching or rash
- blurred vision
- ringing in your ears
- chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance
- black, bloody, or tarry stools, coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
- swelling or rapid weight gain
- urinating less than usual or not at all
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
- Severe headache, neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, and/or seizure (convulsions).
Of course any drug used in excess can be a terrible thing, but just going off side effects of these two substances, it’s easy to see that one of the common household drugs that is probably sitting in your very medicine cabinet right now carries a more serious risk of side effects. A study published in the American Journal of Therapeutics recorded more than 16,000 deaths per year resulting from Motrin. Cannabis on the other hand has had no known record inside the medical field that describes a proven documented cannabis induced fatality, according to the US Department of Justice, DEA. So, if marijuana use has no known immediate and major side effects, and has no known record of causing a direct mortality, why was this substance banned in the U.S? To understand the reasons for the prohibition of weed in America, we must first take a brief look into its history.
In 1914, The Harrison Narcotic act was passed. This act essentially involved a special tax on the production, importation, manufacturing, and the distribution of drugs such as opium, cocaine, and marijuana. It also set restrictions for physicians in that they could prescribe narcotics to patients for the course of normal treatment but not for treating addiction. This particular legislation was pushed through relatively easily due to the recent surge in Mexican immigrants in the United States after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 came to an end. Along with the Mexican immigrants, came cannabis and all its recreational glory. Fear and prejudice about the new Spanish populous caused the drug to be attributed to crimes associated with Mexican violence, which in turn caused the substance to be restricted in the Harrison Act alongside heavier substances. Needless to say that after the Harrison Act passed, along with pot, gone were good old days in the 1800s for SEARS & ROEBUCK, which commonly sold a syringe and small amounts of cocaine out of their magazines for $1.50. It is truly a shame to be living in a modern society where prejudice not only makes for a rather boring American existence, violence against fellow minority citizens, but also places a major burden on our economy
Some states in the U.S have recently decriminalized marijuana use. Among them, the State of Washington has posted some rather positive results since making the choice to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. The results of legalized cannabis in Washington State, according to the Drug Policy Alliance institute include:
- Filings for low-level marijuana offenses are down 98% for adults 21 and older. All categories of marijuana law violations are down 63% and marijuana-related convictions are down 81%.
- The state is now saving millions of dollars in law enforcement resources.
- Violent crime has decreased in Washington and other crime rates have remained stable.
- Washington has collected nearly $83 million in marijuana tax revenues.
- The number of traffic fatalities remained stable.
- Youth marijuana use has not increased.
So, with all that said, it’s time to tell your legislation to stop dicking around and legalize some pot. Who knows? Maybe a century from now America will remove the uptight anal stick of prejudice from their rear so that a perhaps a newer generation liberal will be making a complaint on the bible belts “Haze free counties” in the future. Well, here’s to hoping anyway.
Make sure and tell us your thoughts on the subject in the comments below. Do you think the legalization of Marijuana is a good idea, yes or no, why or why not?