Monday, April 20, 2009

An open letter to medical marjiana supporters

Dear medical marijuana supporters,

I'd like to identify a serious problem with the framing of the current discussion around marijuana legalization.

As many Americans, I have been close to someone who really did get a lot of benefit from smoking marijuana to relieve symptoms of sickness. I have heard about how difficult and strenuous it can be to prepare your own medicine in secret, for the fear of being perceived a criminal.

However there is a problem. If marijuana is medicine, then why do so many people consume it for pleasure? It has side effects, just like any medicine, however mild they are purported to be. Why shouldn't we alarmed by people consuming this medicine, just as we are alarmed by young people consuming MDMA, methamphetamine, or other medicine with recreational appeal? Should we allow any medicine to be sold at the corner store? Where do we draw the line?

There is simply too much cross-over between the arguments in favor of medicinal and recreational use. Please separate the two, and I think you will achieve universal legalization sooner.


JT Justman

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