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ETpro's avatar

Calif. Medical Association Calls for Pot Legalization. Are the docs right, or just smoking too much pot?

Asked by ETpro (34428points) October 16th, 2011

“The largest doctor group in the state questioned marijuana’s medical value but said it was time to legalize it.” See the full article here. Do you agree, or do you think the doctors should stick to pill pushing and steer clear of the politics of pot?

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51 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I believe it should be legalized.

HungryGuy's avatar

What people do with their own bodies in private should be their right. It has nothing to do with politics. So the doctors are right to advocate what should be someone’s right.

Blackberry's avatar

This is kind of like an argument against gay marriage: one side is right, and the other is wrong. Has there been any real reason to keep marijuana illegal?

marinelife's avatar

If there is medical advantages to substances in marijuana, why hasn’t the pharmaceutical industry made it into a pill?

jaytkay's avatar

I am torn on this.

On one hand, the US War on Drugs is a waste of US taxpayer’s money, and the prime reason for the horrendous violence in Mexico.

On the other hand, I hate the idea of even MORE stoned numbskulls interfering with my day.

Legalize it. Tax it. But don’t smoke it around me, please. THNX!

Aethelflaed's avatar

The doctors are right to speak out. Fine, maybe the medicinal value of marijuana, especially for many of the things it’s prescribe for, is dubious. (But we don’t really know either way, because we aren’t allowed to do studies on it). However, because it is classified as a Schedule I narcotic even though it does not meet the criteria for being a Schedule I drug (namely, that it does not have a high potential for abuse, as it must be to be a Schedule I drug), the government has already involved medical opinions, and medical opinions that disagree should be counted. So what if it’s not that medicinally beneficial? In order for it to be illegal, it has to be dangerous and have a high risk for abuse, which marijuana doesn’t. Doctors should always speak out for what is medically effective, and what is perhaps not medically beneficial but also not harmful; they should speak out for what the science says. After all, aren’t people always bitching about how doctors only push pills on them, and don’t recommend cheaper and/or non-prescription alternatives?

@marinelife Probably because it’s not any more effective in pill form than it is being smoked as it always has been, straight off the plant in your backyard or closet, and so drug companies can’t make a profit off of it.

HungryGuy's avatar

Right. If a person thinks that a certain substance has beneficial medical properties, even if the research is inconclusive, that person should have the right to make his own choices. Nobody should have the right to second-guess him.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I know several people with long-term illnesses that need pot. Legalize it already.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Legalizing pot is one of the worst things that we can do to the drug cartels. (aka best thing to do to hurt the cartels). If we make it easier to get through legal means, the drug cartels will no longer make insane profits.

filmfann's avatar

I feel very strongly that pot needs to stay illegal.
I have seen too much of the damage from drugs to think otherwise.

PhiNotPi's avatar

There is a big difference between making it legal and not regulating it. There is one country in Europe that has legalized it (the Netherlands, I believe), but regulates it intensely, and has lower drug abuse rates than other European countries.

HungryGuy's avatar

@PhiNotPi – Right. It should be regulated like alcohol or prescription meds, depending on where it is sold (a pub vs. a chemist) and its intended use.

Linda_Owl's avatar

I believe it should be on the same basis as alcohol is, the taxes would go a long way, & science says that it is a lot less damaging than alcohol.

jerv's avatar

First off, many of the meds I have been given for various things over the years have been more expensive, generally ineffective, and often had pretty bad side effects. Second, look at how much money we waste on prosecution and imprisonment that could be put to better use; I would rather see pedophiles hunted down and jailed than allowed to roam free because the cops are on a ganja crackdown and/or the prisons are full.

@filmfann I take it that you also support prohibition and wish alcohol were still illegal too, eh? If not then you haven’t been around much.

@marinelife Why should they? That would undercut their other money-makers.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s stupid. Of course it should be legal, especially for medical use.

@marinelife I thought Marinol is a synthetic form of the chemical, or one of the chemicals in pot? THC, or something like? Canaboid? Not sure.

GladysMensch's avatar

@marinelife A marijuana pill exists. It’s called Marinol
It has a few issues of course, mainly that it doesn’t work nearly as well as regular marijuana, and it’s expensive.

Joker94's avatar

Legalize it.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@marinelife there are many many more active substances in marijuana than just THC. This is why marinol does not work nearly as good as marijuana does.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


If we live in a free society, why do we need to buy a plant that can grow just about anywhere, from a handful of the pharmaceutical companies?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@filmfann But “drugs” is a vague category, and the question is if marijuana belongs in it – and, if marijuana does belong in it, should then other things like kava root belong in it? The damage cause by cocaine is not the same as the damage caused by marijuana. Putting all substances in the same category, instead of talking about them individually, dilutes the argument.

Coloma's avatar

Well you know what Happy Brownie, bohemian goose girl has to say.
There is zero reason to withhold benefits to the unwell, and for everyone else, keep it to the cocktail hour.

Let me be VERY clear.
I do NOT advocate marijuana use in any working, driving, or any situation outside of ones own private home usage and being under the influence in these circumstances should be treated as alcohol violations.

filmfann's avatar

@jerv I have been around a while, and I am well aware of the arguments for and against pot, alcohol, and other vices many of us enjoy.
Personally, every night I have a glass of wine, or a beer.
I also had 3 grandparents who were alcoholics. My Mothers Father spent his life riding on trains as a hobo.
Don’t presume to know my experiences.

Mariah's avatar

Good golly, legalize the stuff already. At the very least, for medicinal purposes throughout the country. I sure know that bowel surgery patients could benefit from it. I had a terrible time after my second surgery. My problems? Pain and a lack of appetite. I know what would have helped me, LOL. Instead I got opiate based painkillers that are surely more dangerous and which made me nauseous, which contributed to my problems with eating, and after weeks of not being able to eat I got readmitted and my doctor was starting to talk about putting in a naso-gastric tube or a PICC line (the latter of which I have had done before which ended in a near-fatal infection). A little pot to spare that kind of drama? Please!

I also think it’s ridiculous how many people are in jail because of marijuana, so I’d love to see it legalized for that reason too, among others.

jerv's avatar

@filmfann You have seen the damage alcohol does yet wish for it to remain legal?! You just contradicted yourself then.

Soupy's avatar

I strongly believe that marijuana should be legalized. It has been shown to have quite a high medicinal value, and the risks are almost non-existent.

No one has ever overdosed on marijuana.
Marijuana has killed exactly 0 people.

Alcohol and tobacco kill and injure people every day. We have no problem selling those things on every corner.

filmfann's avatar

@jerv It is not a contradiction. You certainly have seen the damage caused by driving a car in the rain. Should we outlaw that? I draw the line at drug use.

jerv's avatar

@filmfann Alcohol is a drug. So its tobacco. Both alter how the brain works, and both are possible to overdose on; something that is nearly impossible to do with marijuana.

You are entitled to your opinion, but your logic seems severely inconsistent to me and, apparently, others.

filmfann's avatar

So is asprin. Not the same.

jerv's avatar

@filmfann I have never heard of someone crashing their car after a couple of aspirin, so you are right. I have heard of people OD-ing on it though, and the health effects aren’t great; it can do some organ damage.

filmfann's avatar

And yet it is a wonder drug. Very cheep, and when properly used, very effective.
Since my position is too difficult for you to understand or accept, I will just move on.

jerv's avatar

@filmfann Probably best that way.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann but, what about narcotics and opiates? If the marijuana is doctor prescribed, is it much different than using other pain relievers or mind altering medications that are illegal, but legal.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@filmfann “And yet it is a wonder drug. Very cheep, and when properly used, very effective.” Im sorry where you talking about marijuana right there?

ETpro's avatar

Thanks to all and GA points handed out liberally. Time does not permit an answer to each response.

The laws against heroin, opium, cocaine, methamphetamine and such were all crafted when we realized the highly addictive and destructive nature of the drugs. The laws against marijuana use were not motivated by any such rational observations. They were originally passed by various states as racist attacks on Mexicans, who were generally the only population at that time routinely using the plant. They were backed and nationalized by lobbying from the alcohol industry and sugar producers, who profit greatly from alcohol’s need for sugar in the fermentation process.

@flimfann, I have not seen you state any rational reason for your position. That does make it difficult—rather impossible—to understand. You’re certainly welcome to your own opinion. But others are free to question whether you have a rational argument to present in putting forward that opinion—and to dissent if your argument fails to persuade them.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Not quite. The original laws regarding Opium only went after Opium dens. It was still legal to buy, sell, possess or use in private, but they went after Opium Dens as kind of a racist move against the Chinese.

As for meth, given the number of lab accidents, I am surprised that meth isn’t covered by the laws that restrict/prohibit explosives :D

Coloma's avatar

The happiest cows in the world are Vietnamese cows, knee deep in fields of Opium poppies.

filmfann's avatar

Since several people have responded to my statement, let me return and respond.

@uberbatman I was talking about Asprin. It’s pretty easy to follow the conversation there, assuming you don’t have short term memory issues.

@JLeslie I live in California, where I voted to allow medical marijuana use. The result has been complete misuse and mismanagement. I know a lot of people who have cards allowing them to buy pot, and there is nothing wrong with them. It’s a scam. I was all for helping the sick, but that is not how it is being used.

@ETpro Marijuana is a gateway drug. I grew up in the 60’s, and I don’t know anyone who has tried Marijuana and didn’t try something harder, including me.
The drug ruined my brothers life. It resulted in the death of a friend of mine. Yes, alcohol can do that too, but I feel that can be managed, since it isn’t a simple thing to make your own beer or wine.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I had heard similar reports that it has not worked out as hoped. I think it was Jeruba, although I could be wrong about which Jelly, who once wrote on a Q about legalizing drugs, that someone once told her it all makes sense until you visit places where drugs were legalalized and you see the mess it created, and then you change your mind.

But, I can’t get around wanting patients to be able to use without fear of having to pay a fine or have a police record. And, I don’t feel like pot is much different than alcohol anyway, do you?

ETpro's avatar

@filmfann Thanks for sharing why the issue is so personally disturbing to you. You have my sympathies. I was a war baby, so I was a young adult in the 60s and I too experimented. I’ve heard the “Gateway drug” argument, but my opinion on it is this. Criminalization of something that is less harmful than alcohol is likely what makes marijuana a gateway drug. Kids hear all the fear mongering about pot, then they try it and find out it’s about as scary as Big Bird on Sesame Street. That tends to make them think that the adults are just telling them a bunch of hooey about ALL drugs to keep them from having fun. Unfortunately, that impression is wrong, often dead wrong.

If you want legal restrictions to be believable, they have to be based on truth, not lies and unfounded hunches. There is no evidence that criminalization of marijuana has limited its use, decreased its likelihood to lead those who try it into other drugs, or protect society in any way. There is ample evidence that criminalization has done just what prohibition did for alcohol. It has turned it into a bonanza for criminal cartels, produced massive violence, wrecked millions of young lives through long prison sentences and cost the US trillions of dollars.

I say let’s at least try decriminalization, and if it proves that leads to more hard drug usage, then we will know the gateway drug hypothesis is true. We;ll have some reason behind a law that is currently built on nothing more then prejudice and unfounded hunches.

Coloma's avatar

Any substance that is abused has the potential for harm, but, IMO alcohol is the WORST.
Very few marijuana users become violent and reckless under the influence and while smoking it is unhealthy for ones lungs, partaking in edible form has zero effect on the body systems.

Personally there is nothing that disgusts me more than a sloppy, stupid, angry or maudlin drunk. Gah!

jerv's avatar

@filmfann Two things.

1) I know plenty of people who smoke marijuana and never want anything harder. The “gateway” argument is a fallacy. There are those who smoke put and move on, yes, but there are also people who start with a couple of beers and then become raging alcoholics.
You seem to think marijuana is uncontrollable and unmanageable, but I know far more alcoholics who can’t keep a job than I do raging pot-heads whose marijuana habit renders them nonfunctional. Also, detoxing from alcohol can be lethal, and it’s actually fairly easy to get alcohol poisoning while pot never killed anyone.

2) You can make your own beer and wine. I know people who do, and we have stores that will sell you the equipment legally.

Coloma's avatar

I will say that I think chronic users, and especially those that over do it from a young age can be adversely effected in terms of motivation and brain fog. lol

Ones brain is still developing until about the age of 25, sooo, I think it best to not comprimise brain development with chronic use.

My personal use is for creative purpose, I am already a highly creative personality and a happy brownie has me re-arranging my house, painting, tripping around my property in-joying nature, but, as much as I do in-joy the happy brownie moments, I equally in-joy being clear headed and sober. I go on what I call ” mini- vacations”..whip up a batch of brownies, in-joy them for a week or so, then return to lengthy periods of sobriety.

I’d also say, and forgive me if this sounds arrogant, but, if one is not the sharpest knife in the drawer it is probably best to avoid dumbing down ones already limited brain power. LOL

I am hardly Einstein, but, I am a very bright girl and I could probably get away with a lot more “abuse” than some others. haha

jerv's avatar

@Coloma And you haven’t turned into a heroin junkie :D

Coloma's avatar


That’s fortunate! lol

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I just read what you had written to Etpro, sorry I hadn’t before my response to you. I see you do view MJ differently than alcohol.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie And that is the cause of my confusion.

@filmfann FYI, brewing beer is not that hard for anyone who knows how to cook, but growing plants is not a easy as you make it sound. Truth is that they are comparable in difficulty.

Coloma's avatar

I used to grow hops, I was a traitor in my vineyard and wine county. lol

Blackberry's avatar

I smoked marijuana when I was a teen, and I was curious about some other drugs, I did E once and some vicodin. But then I saw Requiem For A Dream…...I turned down every offer for non-marijuana after that: Acid, cocaine, shrooms, and LSD.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is what I wonder regarding supposed gateway drugs, if there was no marijuana in the world, would those same people who expirement with other drugs never try them? I think people willing to adventure with drugs just are. I never did. I don’t think my friends popping speed or snorting coke did it because they already had tried pot.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I’ve smoked a good amount of pot. I’ve never even tried anything else, including shrooms.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Blackberry acid is LSD :P Requiem made me never want to do heroin or cocaine, didn’t really bring up hallucinogens in that movie at all.

@JLeslie I think you are absolutely correct. There are just some people who are more likely than others to experiment with drugs. It has nothing to do with trying marijuana first, its more their personality than anything else. The gateway argument always bothered me. Alcohol and caffeine are my gateway drugs. I mean maybe if I never tried either of them I’d never go on to smoke marijuana~

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