Marijuana: Enough’s enough

Before I say what I’m about to say, I need you to know that I’ve never even been drunk.

The only time I ever came close was at a TGI Fridays in Dayton, Ohio, in 2000, when a strawberry daiquiri gave me the giggles.

If you’re embarrassed on my behalf reading that, just think how my wife must have felt that night sitting across from me.

Or maybe, in reality, all eyes were actually on her, as people thought, “What kind of mom gives her special-needs adult son liquor?”

So I approach the issue of marijuana as someone who doesn’t drink, has never smoked and can’t honestly tell when the person I’m talking to might be high.

“Did you see their eyes?” my wife will periodically ask. “They were high.”

“They were?!” I’ll ask, dumbfounded.

I guess unless you pepper your sentences with “zoinks” or “man,” I’m not going to catch on.

But it’s my belief the continued prohibition on marijuana is a joke — just like Prohibition before it (the more famous, uppercased one targeting alcohol), people can easily get what they want, when they want it.

And in Iowa, like most states, it’s quite obvious from driving on the roads or reading about school funding that we could use an influx of new tax revenue.

I recently sat down with Amy Purdie for a story that appeared in last week’s Herald. The Jefferson mom credits a few drops a day of medical cannabis ordered off the internet (an oil extracted from the cannabis plant) with dramatically reducing the number of seizures experienced by her 5-year-old adopted daughter, from 60 a day to one or two.

That’s something not even 10 prescription medications — the total number of meds little Autumn Grace was taking at one point — could accomplish.

Like other states, Iowa has been taking baby steps toward even a modest medical marijuana program. Iowa’s program is supposed to be up and running by Dec. 1, but only for a limited number of medical conditions and with a miniscule amount of THC in the products. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in weed that, basically, makes Shaggy say, “Zoinks.”

But as Purdie, a registered nurse, explained, her daughter’s seizures might be controlled more effectively if a doctor had the flexibility to manage the ratio of THC to CBD (the compound with no Zoinks), much like they adjust her daughter’s Onfi, a pharmaceutical in the same class as Xanax and Valium.

The Legislature this past session refused to bring the issue forward, presumably because they were too busy trying to save fetuses to help the children already here.

Personally, I’m fine with legalizing marijuana even for recreational use. Why not? We trust people enough to use alcohol responsibly, don’t we?

In the year 2018, calling alcohol “demon rum” is sure to incite a chuckle, yet when it comes to pot, lawmakers still retreat into full-on “Reefer Madness” mode.

We’ve been indoctrinated for generations to believe it’s the ultimate “gateway” drug: that today’s Tommy Chong will be tomorrow’s Al Pacino in “Scarface.”

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, marijuana is still firmly a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no accepted medical use in this country. (Not even cocaine and meth are Schedule I drugs.)

Dr. John Paschen, the Ames pediatrician running for the 4th District of Congress in the June 5 Democratic primary, wants to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug, making it easier to study.

For what it’s worth, he’s not in favor of recreational marijuana, citing the fact that the brain is still in development until the age of 25.

I will assume he’s against football, too.

Purdie has contacted Republican Steve King, the cretin who currently represents our district in Congress, about her daughter’s plight. He reportedly responded by accusing her of just wanting to get Autumn high.

Waiting on the federal government to change the status of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II is “only delaying the science,” said David Weaver, the Rippey farmer who’s running in November for the Iowa House as a Democrat.

“Parents of children are looking for answers,” he said, “and many seem to have found them.”

All the while, the pharmaceutical industry has flooded our communities with opioids.

To be fair, some doctors have been complicit in the nation’s opioid epidemic, which may explain some hesitation in giving them unfettered access to marijuana.

But in a supposedly free society, we can only trust people to do the right thing, whether it’s with marijuana, alcohol, AR-15s, automobiles, steak knives or Gorilla Glue.

There may even be benefits in psychotherapy to LSD (another Schedule I drug).

In 2014, the results of a small study — the first controlled study involving LSD in more than 40 years — were published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and found that, administered safely in a supervised setting, LSD can reduce end-of-life anxiety in terminal patients.

Should I one day find myself in pain and/or facing death, I wouldn’t hesitate to do pot AND acid.

Of course, I could barely hold my strawberry daiquiri.

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