Letter: No vote on Prop 205 just sweeps issue under the rug

Editor:

The ‘day’ after the vote on Prop. 205

Perhaps the week after the vote is more accurate as there are still votes being counted. Either way it seems that the proposition did not make it.

On a bright note over a million citizens of the state said Yes to 205 and many more learned a bit more about it or at least had a discussion about it.

Chances are there will be a rush of folks getting their Medical Cards as well now. Perhaps they learned just enough to step up and look into it. Maybe they have decided to look for a safer alternative to pain management that does not include opiates and the dangers that come along with them. As long as they enjoy an improved quality of life and can reduce their intake of deadly drugs it’s a win win for all citizens.

Now if folks thought that saying No to 205 would magically make cannabis and it’s users (either legal medical or felony everyone else) vanish...well you may be shocked to know that in fact they are all still here living among you day to day. If they are not medical card holders then they are still being forced to retreat into the shadows of the prohibitionist stigma and procure their cannabis from the illicit drug trade and risk felonies in doing so. All their transactions will remain untaxed and unregulated as well.

So in that respect the powers that be just spent over $6 million to ensure the current status quo and keep the approximately one-half million AZ cannabis consumers, that don’t have medical cards, as felons.

That was more than the opposition efforts in several states combined. I have to wonder how many people that could have helped get off of deadly opiates, or how many kids it could have educated about the dangers of actual deadly drugs. Instead it vanished into commercials that were consistently found to be factually incorrect or misleading.

With that here is where the real work begins. Now is when the members of the cannabis community have to regroup and redouble their efforts on education and information for those that are now more curious after the campaign. Or those in opposition that genuinely want to find a solution to the deadly opiate epidemic and are willing to admit that there could be 25 percdent more deaths from opiates if we did not have a legal medical program. Those that are willing to understand that states with adult use and medical cannabis have 64% fewer opiates or other pills prescribed in the first place.

Is cannabis a silver bullet for opiate issues, not 100 percent, but it is much better than the $6 million status quo for sure.

In closing, it was great to start a conversation and share information, but that 6 million dollars really did nothing to reduce or address cannabis use, it just swept in under the rug where it has always been...along with about ½ a million of your fellow citizens.

Jesse Dowling

Clarkdale

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