Since California legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1996, 12 other states have followed in its footsteps. Some lawmakers in the state of Illinois are now hoping to be added to that number. Although it passed a law in the 1970s legalizing medical marijuana, the law was ignored and never enforced, but that may soon change, if some members of the Illinois House get their way. An Illinois House committee recently voted to bring the issue before the whole Illinois House for a vote.
I’m sure the advocates for the legalization of marijuana are wringing their hands in glee, hoping for another victory. Those who back the idea of legalization often use the Netherlands as their prime example of how things should be in the United States. What they often forget to mention is that the sell and use of cannabis in the Netherlands which is sold in the coffee shops there is technically illegal, the law is just not enforced. They also conveniently don’t mention that in recent years, problems have arisen in the Netherlands with the sell and use of cannabis that have caused the government to rethink their policies and a large number of the cannabis coffee shops have been closed down while the government decides how to make changes they deem necessary.
There have been problems with drug tourism when potheads coming in from other countries get high and harass some of the local citizens. These drug tourists have also been attempting to smuggle their stash of drugs out of the Netherlands into countries where it is illegal. So much for the utopia that pot smokers want us to believe the Netherlands are.
Germany, where smoking cannabis is popular, has seen an increase in problems caused by marijuana. With the Netherlands bordering on Germany, it is easy for potheads (who are mostly younger) to cross the border into the Netherlands to get high. Experts who monitor drug use in Germany say cannabis users are starting at increasingly younger ages. It was estimated in 2006 that approximately 400,000 Germans were psychologically addicted to the drug or are heavy users. A greater number of young people who use marijuana are experiencing heart palpitations, sudden sweating, and anxiety/panic attacks. There have also been a larger number of marijuana smokers visiting drug clinics complaining of being burned out or severely depressed.
Modern day cannabis has been cultivated to yield contents of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient that gives it its kick, up to 20-25% whereas marijuana plants back in the hippie days rarely had more than 10% THC content. In Bremen, Germany, the Brain Research Institute has shown in its studies that cannabis use during puberty can lead to long-term damage like lack of motivation and disturbances in memory. Research at the Central Institute of Mental Health, also in Germany, has revealed that smoking pot can cause schizophrenia.
And if there’s still any doubt about the harmful effects of using marijuana, the Oct. 1, 2008 issue of the journal Sleep revealed a clear link between insomnia and the use of cannabis or alcohol and harder drugs in teens and young adults. This insomnia tied to cannabis use also showed an increase in depression and suicidal tendencies in these teens and young adults.
Some states, like California and Arizona, that have legalized medical marijuana have experienced an increase in criminal offenses involving the drug in recent years. They have also witnessed their national parks being used by Mexican drug cartels as pot farms. The legalization of medical marijuana is just a stepping stone to legalize all marijuana use, and ultimately, all illegal drugs. It encourages a mentality among potheads that says, “If patients can use marijuana for their problems, I should be able to legally use it too.” Thus legalization of medical marijuana drives the demand for the typical use of marijuana, to get stoned, which often leads to demand for harder drugs. And it’s this heightened desire and demand in the U.S. that has furiously fueled the Mexican drug war.
In the end, arguments in favor of marijuana legalization such as its regulation would reduce sales or usage, or that it would dry up the underground market, or that drug arrests are racist, or that information against using pot is wrong, or that drug enforcement is too costly, are all unreliable arguments. Legalization of pot will not end the black market it fuels any more than the laws and regulations upholding our movie, music, and fashion industries have ended the billions of dollars in pirating and knock-offs of those lucrative industries. Should we legalize slavery again because human trafficking has shown dramatic increases and also generates a lot of money on the black market?
The tendency to use the failure of Prohibition against alcohol isn’t much of an argument either. Once Prohibition ended, we inherited a whole host of other problems like drunk driving injuries and deaths, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, underage drinking, and binge drinking. Did legalization of prostitution really benefit Nevada as they claimed it would? All it did was help crime rates increase in Las Vegas and helped increase human trafficking in the U.S. Likewise, pot legalization will only do more harm.
The use of drugs to get high is simply, as I’ve said in a previous post, the sin of sorcery mentioned in the Bible. They were used in ancient times by pagans who wanted to enter an altered state of consciousness to contact their devilish spirit guides or gods and are still used for the same reasons today. It’s Satan’s subtle way of unleashing more of his evil angels to affect mankind’s decisions for his own evil purposes. In my opinion, all this fuss about the benefits of legalizing pot isn’t worth the nickel bags that marijuana users were smoking when they thought it up.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–
Sources: Crime in Arizona Reports, State of Arizona, Dept. of Public Safety
California Department of Justice, Criminal Justice Statistics Center
Dutch Coffee Shops Close as Authorities Weed out Drug Tourists, Deutsche Welle, 29.04.2007
Netherlands: Efficiency of Drugs Policy Under Scrutiny, Global Legal Monitor, Law Library, Library of Congress, March 2, 2008
Soft Drugs With Hard Consequences, Deutsche Welle, 14.05.2006
Adolescent Insomnia Linked To Depression And Substance Abuse During Adolescence And Young Adulthood, ScienceDaily, October 5, 2008