"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Legalizing Marijuana, Really?

Delegate Heather Mizeur, who is a candidate for Governor of Maryland, is running on the platform to legalize marijuana.  Such a platform is a far cry for those of us who are in health care.  According to Heather, marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco.  But, most importantly, it's taxable.  She is proposing a $50-an-ounce tax from the grower to the distributor and then an 8% tax when sold at retail.

According to Heather, no one has died from too much THC being ingested; I guess that's where the "safety" of marijuana comes in.  You can die of alcohol poisoning by ingesting too much alcohol, but I guess marijuana would put you to sleep before you could smoke too much.  

Then there is a state senator from Montgomery County who is proposing similar legislation for the upcoming legislative session on decriminalizing marijuana.   He says that Heather needs a new platform in that his legislation will pass before Heather has a chance to get elected.  I can't imagine running on a platform of legalizing marijuana to increase tax revenues by $150 million a year when this is the same individual who has led the charge to prevent the drilling for natural gas in western Maryland.  The tax revenues from natural gas would far exceed the legalization of marijuana; and I know that there is considerable debate on the safety of the drilling, but why not give it a shot?  

By the way, the effects of marijuana on the body are the same as smoking cigarettes.  It affects the lungs, the heart, elevates blood pressure and causes cancer.  It's addictive just like alcohol and tobacco and its effects are longer lasting than those of alcohol.  Quite honestly, none of the above is good for you so why add to the list by legalizing marijuana?

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