Caption Under the photo: Bobby Henry, Publisher of Westside Gazette
From the Westside Gazette Editorial Board
The phrase “Just say No” was popularized by First Lady Nancy Reagan when the U.S. declared “War on Drugs” during the 1980s and early 1990s, to discourage children from using drug. Just a couple decades later, saying yes to drugs seems like a benign, humanitarian act.
What has caused this extreme paradigm shift is almost too complex to dissect in one article.
In a few short days, Florida voters will decide if medical marijuana should be legal and added to our Constitution. Once again Florida voters are challenged with deciphering the pros and cons of the proposed Amendment 2 to allow the medical use of marijuana. If Amendment 2 passes it would change our state constitution and become almost impossible to repeal later. In other words, it would be a done deal or a deal done.
Yes, there are deals in the making and money to be made, but who really benefits from legalizing medical marijuana?
In this brief article, let’s examine the facts so our readers can make a clear choice without the intoxicating ads and sentiments of those who support this amendment.
The most common argument to support Amendment 2 is that people who are suffering with chronic pain and debilitating illnesses will find relief. Hello, patients already have that option in Florida. It’s called Charlotte’s Web or the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014.
Charlotte’s Web marijuana has a lower THC content (the drug that gets you high) than traditional marijuana. This law specifies the number of distribution centers, which types of nurseries can grow the plants and requires various other controls.
So why push for a constitutional amendment when we already have Charlotte’s Web?
Well, the marijuana being “pushed” in Amendment 2 could have potency 15 times stronger and more addictive than the pot of the 1970s. Yet, it will be marketed in packaging that looks like candy and sold in pot shops in our neighborhoods.
The second most common argument to support Amendment 2 is that legalizing marijuana will keep people from getting arrested for possessing, cultivating or distributing marijuana. This is a great fallacy because possession of marijuana is still illegal and so is driving while intoxicated.
Potential employers still have the right to test job applicants for drug use and the list of ramifications goes on and on. There is no evidence that legalizing marijuana will reduce arrest in minority communities. As a matter of fact, it is been shown in other states that the ratio of minorities being arrested since the legalization of marijuana has not decreased.
The third most common argument is that marijuana is a harmless drug.
This is the most ridiculous and easiest to refute of all. According to National Institute of Health and many others in the scientific community, Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce thinking, memory and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.
Just say No still resonates as sound judgment. It should be trending in social media platforms as the #JustSayNoIsStillGoodForUS.