Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Legalizing Cannabis

For the first time a clear majority of Americans have favored legalizing marijuana. Although I have never used pot – despite the fact that I was diagnosed with stage IV metastasized cancer and treated with chemo for six months –  I'm sure that it's only a matter of time until it becomes mainstream as more and more states legalize it like Colorado and Washington even though it's still illegal under federal law.

When I was a kid, pot was vilified almost as badly as homosexuality. Growing up, I was taught that being gay was "sick" – a condition that needed to be cured, medically. I've never seen so much hate generated against people who want to love. Now, being gay is legally okay as same-sex marriage is accepted with pot not far behind.

Isn't smoking bad? Sure, but how many people die from a marijuana overdose? I was amazed when I saw the statistics. Overdosing from marijuana appears to be as likely as overdosing on nicotine from cigarettes: "... one would have to smoke thousands of [joints] in a short period of time to approach toxic levels." Plus, the medical benefits of pot seem to grossly outweigh the benefits of nicotine.

About two months ago I had a chance encounter with a 22 year old "drug dealer" who owned a medical marijuana dispensary in L.A. His revenues were more than $4,000/day and, after expenses, he cleared over $60,000/month. That's about three quarters of a million dollars per year for him to split with his business partner. It's an obvious understatement that pot, like cigarettes and caffeine (the world's most popular drug) are highly profitable.

Perhaps we've been caught up in the rhetoric, instead of the facts, when denouncing marijuana as former White House Fellow, neurosurgeon, and CNN Emmy award winning chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, revealed earlier this year?

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