Posts Tagged ‘marijuana’

By R.C. Seely

THE OPPONENTS OF marijuana legalization have been lauding a recent European study reported in The Lancet as proof positive that they were right. They have gone as far as saying the medical community is in agreement, marijuana is a health threat that causes schizophrenia and needs to be kept out of the public. According to them since the plant has been modified to a far higher potency, there are epidemics of psychotics in areas where it’s legal. There are some problems here.

To begin with let’s clarify what is actually happening. A cursory online search will suggest the prohibitionists are successfully misleading the public. The word “cause” is the focus of my attention here. Much of the research concludes that excessive indulgence–everyday usage–of the high potency strain can create symptoms that mirror schizophrenia, not actually cause the disorder. It can make schizophrenia worse if someone already has it.

Why is this Significant?

The prohibitionists claim that schizophrenia can’t always be cured but what does it mean if it’s not schizophrenia? What if since it’s not really schizophrenia but only appears that way, it needs another form of treatment? Most importantly, if they are misleading with the wording, what else are they not being honest about?

Making it seem like this is new ground-breaking information, is another misleading factoid. From the moment marijuana prohibition was originally proposed in the 1930’s, mental health conditions were the validation. Schizophrenia, laziness and the munchies are all well known as “side effects” of marijuana. Problem is like many other disorders, genetics are a factor in how the body responds.

Not all cigarette smokers will get lung cancer or alcohol drinkers get sciroccos or liver cancer. They are genetically preconditioned to it, it’s the same with marijuana and psychosis.

The study itself has a large problem, or technically a small one, a small sample size to be more accurate. The research team may have traveled the world for subjects, it doesn’t change the fact that they only examined a few thousand people. The global population is in the billions, so saying a comparable blip of a few thousand isn’t accurate, you need a sample of a few million. That’s actually a problem and one of my questions of the study. Drawing a conclusion from such a small sample is ridiculous.

Sample size and genetic predisposition aside, the study itself would need to be studied too. The biggest issue that could come up with the study is researcher bias. Does the one conducting the study already have an opinion and setting it up to get the result they want? In my research on the Dr. Marta Di Forti, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, & Neuroscience at King’s College London, I couldn’t find any information to draw a conclusion.

Their other argument

The other argument by prohibitionists, isn’t medical but interference. What has them so bent out of shape is that marijuana now has lobbyists. What! A marketable consumable product has a special interest group pushing for it! That never happens! Except when it comes to pretty much everything. Which also includes the alcohol industry and the prescription drug companies. Both two industries trying to keep marijuana from the marketplace.

Conclusion: Why none of this matters

The prohibitionists will probably be very baffled by this, but in the end none of this matters. Not if you are truly in favor of limited government at any rate.

Whether you are against medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, if you think laws telling people what they can put in the bodies are right, you are not truly for limited government. That’s the problem with the conservative movement it may rant and rave against government overreach but when given the chance to prove it, they fall short.

States have already voted yes on having marijuana legal, and already complications because of the federal moratorium, they don’t need other states interfering. Or media, medical officials, politicians or the general public getting in between the consumers and producers.

Both recreational and medical markets are being excessively criticized because of excessive consumption is the prohibitionists lame attempt to sway public opinion. Oddly enough smoking in general is apparently quite high in schizophrenia sufferers, so their high marijuana consumption could be an over looked red flag for the disorder. Anything used in excess can create health complications and the wrong pharmaceutical medical for psychosis can exacerbate the existing condition. That’s why qualified medical professionals are consulted, but that is decided by the consumer.

That was one of the biggest criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, that politicians are getting between the patient and the doctor. Why is that acceptable when it comes to medical marijuana? This is a conservative logical inconsistency that they are blind to and medical patients are suffering because of it.

I’m an advocate for full legislation but anyone who opposes medical marijuana legalization is just plain heartless as far as I’m concerned. With the long list of side effects from medications for epilepsy sufferers and other conditions that do show promise in medical marijuana for relieving if not completely curing, research could be vital. It seems rather absurd to barricade such research due to studies that have come far from a conclusive–or even all that compelling–outcome.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has written books on pop culture, with a new book–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–to be released.

By R.C. Seely

NEVADA JOINED THE STATES TO FULLY LEGALIZE marijuana at the state level and it’s already seeing a problem come up, one that is very old and common–the monopoly. 

    From the Las Vegas Review Journal:

“A Carson City district court judge … refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by liquor distributors against the Department of Taxation over the distribution of recreational marijuana to pot dispensaries…. One of those disputes involves the Department of Taxation’s intervention in a licensing process by liquor distributors in Clark County who were seeking to participate in the distribution process.

The decision could delay the start of recreational marijuana sales originally set for July 1 via the existing medical marijuana dispensaries operating throughout Nevada.

Issue is whether liquor distributors have the first right to distribute marijuana from grow facilities to the dispensaries.”

 

  According to the alcohol distributors the law clearly stipulates they get first shot and a temporary restraining order was issued against marijuana distributors from a lawsuit brought on by the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada.

    It should be mentioned, that the tax agency had concerns of lack of interest by the alcohol distributors in the marijuana business–spokeswoman for the Department of Taxation, Stephanie Klapstein stated there was only one liquor wholesaler who applied for a license at the time the restraining order was issued, and it came the morning of the lawsuit–the attorney for the liquor distributors, Kevin Benson, claims five have applied for the licenses. It would be difficult to not see this as suspicious. But let’s leave Nevada for a moment and go to Iowa.

From Reason.com:

“In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there is a fully outfitted outpatient surgical center that could be used to treat patients with eye problems and improve their vision.

It sits empty, unused, a monument to government imposed artificial restrictions on the supply of medical care.

The prohibition has nothing to do with Dr. Lee Birchansky, who owns the surgical center and the doctor’s office next door. He’s allowed to operate on patients at nearby hospitals, but he can’t do those same surgeries in the facilities that he owns.”

 

   So what’s the problem? The doctor has been the victim of a CON. No, not a scam artist, but a state sanctioned scam. The con in this case is Certificate of Need, so literally a CON. Essentially it’s a license that some states require the business to obtain demonstrating the need for the business or for the industry to expand in the area. It’s used by large companies to keep out competitors. “It is ridiculous that I have an outpatient surgery center that is … ready to go, but I have been denied a certificate of need four times because established hospitals do not want competition,” said Birchansky.

    In order to reopen Birchansky would need to obtain the CON from the Department of Public Health, which he would have to file another application and a $21,000 fee.

    All is not lost for Dr. Birchansky he has help. On Birchansky’s side is the Institute for Justice, a law firm noted for challenging such laws. “Patients and Doctors–not the government–are in the best position to decide what medical services are needed,” said Joshua House of the Institute. Also joining Birchansky in the right is Governor Terry Bradstad of Iowa, who fights to reform CON laws in the state. As for the marijuana distributors of Nevada, right now it appears they are stuck in legislative limbo. For now, the medical marijuana dispensaries will be serving as recreational distributors while all this gets sorted out. When going up against the monopolies, even a single victory is a great one and in time, maybe the Nevada Department of Taxation will see through the smoke.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. His latest book, Victims of White Male: Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.