First I just want to say thank you for reading. This is my inaugural post on Commune Community and I hope you find it engaging. I also want to urge you to continue the conversation.
The main purpose of this post is to help raise awareness about the upcoming measures being voted on next week along with the elections. Most people know about the two primary candidates running representing the Democratic and Republican party.
There’s no doubt who are next president will have a profound impact on our political landscape but knowing about these measures as well as following the events of congress will have a greater impact on our everyday lives. That’s what the focus of this column helps to address and I plan on addressing a new topic every day.
There are 145 measures that span over 34 states that will be on ballots next week that address issues including marijuana, criminal Justice, taxes, campaign finance, minimum wage transportation and infrastructure, and what congress deems “housekeeping” issues
First on the commune community docket we will be addressing tonight is the bumper crop Marijuana. Marijuana has been on the ballot since 1996 but has now become the most popular issue of this election cycle/ measures.
There are 9 states that have marijuana on the ballot next week including major states such as Florida for medical use and California for recreational. Many advocates of the herb feel that once it is approved by voters this will be the momentum to finally prohibit the drug and make it legal. I would like to take a little bit of time to dive into this issue a little bit further let’s start by making the distinction between medical and recreational marijuana.
There are currently 25 states that have legalized medical cannabis and four more that have it on the ballot for next week. All over the country the herb is being used to help people who suffer from diseases like cancer. It helps with pain relief as well as developing appetite as well as helping people with epilepsy reduce their amount of seizures.
Marijuana has also been a part of a recent study that shows it can help with the regenerating of damage brain tissues and cells in people who have suffered major head trauma or consistent trauma.
Colorado has been America’s first experiment with Recreational marijuana. Most business men see the experiment as a huge success that not only brought in profits for them but the state as well through taxes. The state also saw a 50% decrease in marijuana possession arrests.
Although economically recreational marijuana might have been ideal there are still other cons that came along with it. Most of them are related to the health of infants, young children, and teenagers. The primary concern is how does being under the influence of marijuana effect people when they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough data to support any position on this however it is a fact that the effects of marijuana are extremely different than that of alcohol which is the fourth leading preventable cause of death in this country according to the NIH.
The Governor of Colorado admits however that there still isn’t enough data available to support these health claims.
Another Con has been the setup of criminal enterprises under Colorado’s lax real estate and marijuana grows where the marijuana is grown. There have been known Russian criminal enterprises that have come to set up grows to makes profits out of state where they can make up to 3 times as much compared to if they operated with a license in the state.
Although Medical marijuana is legal in half of America it’s important to be clear that this is still a federally illegal. However, most marijuana business men think and believe once California votes in favor of recreational marijuana this will all change.
Something that I do want to point out that Marijuana was outlawed by then head of the DEA Harry Anslinger in 1930 who was on record saying “Most marijuana smokers are negroes, Hispanics, jazz musicians and entertainers.” Anslinger goes on to state the drug was associated with Satan. “it is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death – the most violence causing drug in the history”
Many people believe Anslinger who was the head of the DEA for over the next 30 years is a contributor to the systematic racism that goes on still today that leads to complications and injustices in the Criminal justice system.
All this being said bottom line Medical marijuana has been a great source for healing and medicine reducing the abuse of opioids. However, there may still need to be studies done on the federal lever to make sure recreational marijuana is fall proof one thing I learned in this world… nothing is. The best thing the federal government can do is properly regulate the marijuana monger businessmen who will ensure they have the most potent products to draw customers at their own expense. In Colorado, there were cases of edible overdoses which have been rectified by placing a limit as to how much can be used in them.
I think it is worth noting that Hilary Clinton, whose husband introduced provisions that led to the convictions of many nonviolent marijuana related crimes, has acknowledged how the convictions are wrong. This makes her the most likely candidate to help reduce the sentences of most of these prisoners.
With marijuana being on 9 ballots, namely California’ for 20 years, it’s easily the most popular topic since 2004. The topic was deciding the definition of marriage being between a man and woman which was on 13 ballots.