Monday, September 21, 2009

NORML Profile

While searching for blogs within my area I came across several that spoke on the topic. While most where somewhat dry and purely information based, the one I chose was able to draw an interesting connection between the "Beer Summit" recently held by President Obama intended for better race relations, and the building debate over marijuana legalization.

In, "What This Country Needs Is a Marijuana Summit", Current ( blogger David Bearman, M.D. discusses the need for a Marijuana summit intended to better the health of millions of Americans and generate millions in tax dollars.

Current is a user generated news web page and television station lead by former Vice President Al Gore. The news company films reports all over the world, and they generally have a slightly activist message behind them.

The most interesting thing about the blog to me was how the argument was posed as more of a calling by the American people to hold some form of public discussion on the topic of Marijuana. As opposed to another post reciting health studies and beneficial economic numbers based on legalization and taxation. It is becoming clear that these facts are being dismissed by politicians, either as lacking substantial backing, or are flat out being ignored. Rather than reciting numbers and studies that are already know, this author brings to light the fact that most Americans do know the dangers and benefits behind Marijuana, and are ready to accept them.

The federal government must concur with what we the people already know. In the Obama Transition Team’s own on-line poll, respondents overwhelmingly selected legalizing marijuana as our country’s number one priority. This May, even a Zogby poll commissioned by the conservative O’Leary Report, found 52 percent of American voters in favor and only 37 percent opposed to legalizing (and taxing) marijuana.

If a nation can call on its government to re-legalize alcohol with all its known dangers and no possible health benefits, and the same nation can keep tobacco legal after decades of obvious corrilations to cancer and other negative side effects. Then why is there so much hesitation to openly discuss re-legalizing a substance that could improve the health and lives of millions as well as help to stimulate a weakening economy? With the growing need for strong markets and increasing unemployment, why wouldn't the government want to take full advantage of a multi-million dollar industry that is already in place within its borders? These are the types of questions that are citizens need to be asking their politicians. Dr. Bearman realizes that the people must demand that the politicians work for them. That if the majority of voters agree on a topic, than it is the responsibility of the nation's representatives to further that view. They should not need convincing by they people that they represent about weather the majority is truly correct in their opinion.

Bearman goes on to say that their should be a public discussion between director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, and doctors and researchers on medical marijuana. Making such an event televised would not only show the public that the director of drug control policy is hearing all of the facts, but it would also let the public know expert opinions about the uses of medical marijuana directly from researchers in the field.

In all the blog was quite detailed and it made me think of new ways of looking at the topic rather than simply through health studies and econ figures. Persuading and using the voice of the people is equally as powerful as crunching numbers and reciting facts. Even if the economic benefits are blinding, the people need to scream at their politicians for change in order to see these benefits.

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