"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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My New Favorite Topic

In today's Cumberland Times News, there is an article on what is fast becoming my favorite topic, the decriminalization of marijuana in Maryland.  Senator Jamie Raskin, D - Montgomery County, is sponsoring the Marijuana Control Act of 2014 along with Delegate Curtis Andersen, D - Baltimore.  Last week, Governor O'Malley said that he is opposed to legalizing marijuana in Maryland, citing that it remains a gateway to harmful activity.  Delegate Anderson countered with "studies now show that marijuana is no longer dangerous" and that "it's not the addictive drug that we have been led to believe that it is.”  Sen. Raskin said that marijuana is a gateway drug in a whole different respect.  He said that a marijuana arrest could prevent young people from getting jobs or getting into school.  

Advocates say a lot of things in order to get their message out, and obviously Del. Anderson believes whatever they say.  I, on the other hand, will stick with research in the health field that marijuana is addictive and can be a gateway drug as well as my personal experience.  When I arrived at college at the beginning of my freshman year, alcohol was the preferred "high of choice."  By October, it was smoking marijuana (which is as far as I got and all that it did was make me throw up).  By December, it was hash being smoked by my fellow students.  After Christmas break, Quaaludes were the high of choice; and by the end of the school year, cocaine was being introduced.  It was interesting, those students who were really into the Quaaludes and eventually cocaine never returned for the next school year.  Also by the second year, no one could afford drugs, especially when you could get a six-pack of Valley Forge beer for $1.10.  

I don't think that behaviors have changed that much and isn't the THC component of marijuana much stronger than it was 30 years ago?

I continue to have a great deal of trouble with legalizing marijuana, taxing it and supporting education programs, school construction, all day kindergarten and ALCOHOL treatment programs.  What's next in order to keep our youth out of jail-- that we will find what is an acceptable amount of cocaine or crystal meth and legalize it too?  

Then there is President Obama, who said recently that he supports limited legalization of marijuana because it could help reduce the number of African American and Latino men who are jailed for drug offenses.  There are a whole lot of other initiatives that could be pursued instead of legalizing marijuana to keep these men out of jail.  I wonder if anyone would consider legalization of the other drugs that may result in a higher number of arrests for Asians, whites or American Indians?  That's how ridiculous these arguments really are.

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