Letter: Much for all to learn concerning legalized marijuana

Editor:

I certainly appreciated hearing Mr. Bullock’s concerns. I completely understand his apprehension and that he openly admits that he has no experience with cannabis. After 80 years of prohibition and the continuing ‘Reefer Madness’ campaigns that is to be expected. I also agree that alcohol and cannabis are indeed like apples and oranges. That is if cannabis as the orange is 114 times safer than alcohol as the apple.

To address his point about not understanding why people might choose to enjoy some cannabis in the same way that he chooses to enjoy his glass of wine or a margarita, I will replay a moment after the debate I had with Attorney Polk in June:

A gentleman approached me with much the same feeling as Mr. Bullock. He related that he enjoyed a scotch with his steak and saw no way that a person could enjoy cannabis in the same fashion. Again he admitted to having no experience with cannabis and this was based only off what he has been told/heard.

I attempted to relate that people who choose to enjoy cannabis are no different. Just like a person enjoys the smell and taste of a glass of wine, ‘with fruity undertones, earthy overtones and an oaky finish’, people enjoy the same aspects of cannabis. The chemical basis for the tastes and smells of wine for example are called ‘Terpenes’. These chemical compounds are the source of unique tastes and flavors. Cannabis has the same characteristics and its consumers have the same appreciations for them, no different than a good scotch with a steak or a glass of wine with friends.

The assumption that people only use cannabis to get ‘high’ is just that, an assumption. There are actually strains of cannabis that are created specifically not to get you ‘high’. Additionally not all cannabis is smoked, many prefer to consume it edibly. When consumed in that way it can take up to an hour or so to take effect and the effect can last from 6-8 hours. It is not unusual for people to chose this as a way to assist with longer term pain relief or help in sleeping.

My wife who has MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a legal cannabis patient and uses a very low THC (the part that creates the euphoria) high CBD (the part that reduces inflammation and pain as well as anxiety) concentrate. One drop three times a day controls her pain and has reduced her intake of liver damaging n-said pain relievers to almost none. She is able to sleep through the night and has achieved an amazing improvement in her quality of life. All without the need or desire to get ‘high’.

Many people also get great benefit from juicing the raw plant as well. It has been found to be a great way to nourish the endo-cannabinoid system that all humans, and for that matter mammals, each have. In it’s raw state the chemical compounds that create the ‘high’ are not as active either.

Of course this opens the door to the ‘we already have medical’ so why do we need 21+ adult use to be legalized? The medical program comes at a cost of about $300/yr. For people that don’t need to use that much cannabis that can be a huge barrier. For even more that might be curious about what cannabis could do for them the stigma is still a huge barrier.

Also consider that the very conservatively estimated number of people who have used cannabis in Arizona in the ‘past month’ time frame is 438,000. If we see that there are 100,000 medical card holders that leaves about 1/3rd of a million citizens in our state that live under the stigma of ‘Reefer Madness’. Their only solution to enjoy their version of a fine wine or margarita legally is to abuse the Medical program or risk a felony prosecution.

Now if you were under the threat of a felony while trying to enjoy your glass of wine would it really be as enjoyable? One aspect of Prop. 205 that seems to be lost in the shuffle is that it does not require a single person to use cannabis. As they said in Colorado, those who were not using cannabis are still not, and those who were using it before still are. But they are now paying their way via taxes and regulation.

Additionally, nobody should drive under the influence. Even simply being sleepy can be grounds for an impaired to the slightest so impaired is a wide ranging target.

Mr. Bullock’s concerns as an employer are also appreciated. Employers certainly have the right to maintain a ‘drug free’ policy, 205 does not affect that at all. The main idea is that as long as an employee is doing a proper job and meeting all the standards of the job, including safety, should they be fired simply due to preferring cannabis to tequila or margaritas? If you knew that enjoying a glass of wine on Friday night could cost you your job on Monday would it still be as enjoyable?

I greatly respect Mr. Bullock and have seen the vast amount of himself that he gives back to this community. His business has been a great benefit to the valley and all those associated with it. I honestly appreciate his letter and the chance to have a thoughtful discussion on the issue. I am always open and available to discuss this issue and I am just fine if we simply agree to disagree, that is the beauty of this country we all share.

Jesse Dowling

Unofficial Cannabis Advocate

Clarkdale

Comments

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Lonecowboy 2 years ago

Come off it Jesse. Your wife is protected by the Medical Marijuana bill! Just a glass of wine? Ever hear of a wino? How about a glass of wine and a snort at the same time? Think it will end there? In this bill there are NO restrictions on the legal level of marijuana in the system. What is true is that marijuana has been found in the systems of new borns. Nice Jesse? Jesse are you Pro-Choice? I predict Mariana addicted women will have their babies aborted to prevent detection. Nice?

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JD 2 years ago

Where to begin...

1-Indeed there is a Medical system in place but... The county attorney's Polk and Montgomery are currently trying to shut it down in court. Thus 205 would then be a lifeline to those that choose to avoid deadly opiates and addiction. The manufacturer of some of those deadly opiates is actually funding part of the anti-205 campaign.

2-Regarding the per se' legal level's, unlike alcohol or opiates cannabis is non-toxic and physically/chemically unable to cause death. At the same time it metabolizes at a unique rate and fashion for each individual, so trying to set a limit on a moving target is not ideal. This has no bearing on the ability to be given a DUI as impaired is impaired. People should not drive under the influence of anything including lack of sleep.

3-It is true that there have been traces of cannabis found in newborns. It is also true that even non cannabis using mother's have traces of cannabinoid's in their mother's milk. The human body has an endo-cannabinoid system that has receptors in place for such things. Studies have found that there is no lasting side effects or withdrawal symptoms. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8...">https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8...

As such I am pro-life in that we don't need any more people to die from opiates or alcohol when a much safer option exists. In speaking to people in the medical field the occurence of this is much lower than alcohol or opiod dependent baby's and they actully have significant and lasting side effects or reprecussions.

Your assertion that women will have abortions to avoid detection is simply asinine and barely deserves acknowledgement. The only reason they might have to fear such a thing is due to draconian prohibitionist laws that the citizens of this state have decided need to be reformed.

Your statement is appreciated as it may assist in highlighting the reason we all need to learn a bit more about this topic before we make any assumptions or accusations.

Be well and I wish only the best for you and yours, JD

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Lonecowboy 2 years ago

1-Then the jury is still out on Medical Marijuana. Let's not kid ourselves. The system is being abused by those eligible to receive Medical Marijuana because it is addictive.

2-By your own research there are no parameters to judge the level of Marijuana of a person driving under the influence. Obviously the drug has not been tested to determine the level of impairment that will result in a DUI? I call that Russian Roulette. Yes people should not drive impaired but people do and will. Why add another level of impairment on the roads? Prop 205 means legalization everywhere. It also means those entrusted to provide mass transit could very well operate a vehicle under the influence!!! Safe? I guarantee that allowing those operators to use legal Marijuana will end up in a disaster some where, You already stated that there is no measurable amount that can prove impairment.

3-That argument makes no sense. Sounds like the way to cure a drunk is to provide more. Would you like your baby to come into this world pre-addictive? As it is opiates are found now in newborns because the mothers haven't found that Marijuana isn't enough to satisfy their cravings.

4-There is no guarantee that mothers will substitute Marijuana for prescription drugs whether for medical purposes or not. Is there? You are assuming ideal conditions. Women today are using abortion for lesser reasons than to avoid Marijuana detection. Asinine? i guarantee that Marijuana will be the lesser of abusive drugs found in newborns from careless women that use it.

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Lonecowboy 2 years ago

I might add to item two above: I doubt if the US could field a multicultural, multi language, cohesive army if threatened by a foreign country. Prop 205 will allow the use of Marijuana by troops. The military will be going into battle stoned. What was never reported was that the Vietnam war was lost because of the availability of cheap narcotics from Saigon. America IS divided and the the division is growing and permanent.

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JD 2 years ago

Oh Lonely Cowboy...

1- Read the letter again-

2- Read the letter again-

3- Read the letter again-

4- Read the letter again-

Certainly vote your conscience on the 8th- as we all should.

Cannabis and those that use it are not the evil that they have been built up to be.

All my best to you and your's sir, May you one day not be quite so Lonely and find some peace and happiness.

JD

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