Pot Legalization Reveals Two Issues We Don’t Want to Talk About

Wherever you have people in favor of marijuana legalization, you also have people against it. Granted, the latter group seems to be getting smaller by the day. But listening to what both sides have to say reveals some interesting things. If you are willing to look at the legalization question from a disinterested, third-party point of view, you may discover that it reveals two issues we do not really want to talk about.

Dealing with those two issues could potentially end the debate over marijuana legalization. What are they? The failures of Western medicine and the desire among so many people to use intoxicating substances. Both are far more serious problems than the debate over marijuana legalization suggests.

Plenty of Failures in Healthcare

Cannabis is somewhat of a medical enigma. For more than 50 years, the powers-that-be have told us that it has no medicinal value. But at the same time, millions of people have used it medicinally and have sworn by it. The most important question is why cannabis has been used as a medicine. We can find the answer in something as common as pain.

The majority of customers who shop at Salt Lake City’s Beehive Farmacy utilize medical cannabis to relieve pain. Beehive operators say their experiences with customers are not unique. Pain is the number one reason for requesting medical cannabis recommendations nationwide.

Why would a chronic pain patient want to use medical cannabis? In most cases, it is because all the traditional treatments recommended by a patient’s doctor have not delivered sufficient relief. Even prescription opioids don’t work as well as they should. Even worse, they make some patients feel terrible. Prescription opioids should be the poster child for the failures of Western medicine.

We have relied too heavily on pharmacology and surgery to dictate the path of our healthcare system. As a result, millions of patients are not being adequately treated for what ails them. Add the fact that they are paying a lot of money to feel no better, and the appeal of medical cannabis becomes apparent.

People Want to Get High or Feel Numb

On the recreational side of things, marijuana legalization reveals the ugly truth that millions of people want access to the plant simply because they either want to get high or feel numb. This should not be normal. It is not normal when talking about alcohol.

As a culture, we take a cautious approach to people who drink for no other reason but to get drunk. We take an equally cautious approach to heavy drinkers whose only goal is to feel as numb as possible for as long as possible. Such an approach is justified in both cases. Why? Because we know there are better ways to deal with problems than boozing it up.

Recreational marijuana does the same thing for people as alcohol. It is just in a different form. But there is no difference between smoking pot just to get high and drinking just to get drunk. There is no difference in being made numb by marijuana or alcohol. It’s a bad deal regardless of the substance a person uses.

Marijuana Isn’t the Real Problem

When you get right down to the nuts and bolts of marijuana legalization, marijuana isn’t the real problem. The real problem is the myriad reasons people want to legalize the plant. Legalization will not solve those problems. It will merely continue masking them so we can pretend they do not exist.

For that reason alone, I oppose recreational marijuana and favor strict control of medical cannabis. I realize I am in the minority.