Sunday :: Mar 18, 2018

Reefer Madness Engulfs California


by paradox

As we all know on January 1st the Golden State went cannabis green, be over 21, walk into a retail establishment conforming to local rules, pay serious taxes, put down some cash and mary jane is yours with a smile, be it flowers, edibles or vape oil. 77 days have since passed since this glorious milestone of progress has been with us and it’s a good idea to see how legalization is going in the greatest Republic the world has ever seen.

Definitive social truth is a ridiculously elusive goal, but observations on the lack of certain effects can be enormously valuable. The lack of effect is a huge deal in life, right, enjoy a sweet diet soda but don’t gain weight. Use birth control, don’t get her pregnant at 17.

So now that cannabis is legal, since that time around cannabis retail shops has there been an increase in vicinity crime? Assault, robbery, burglary, loitering? No.

Has there been any reported increase in family crime? Spousal and child abuse increases directly related to cannabis? The kids are going hungry and need clothes because all the cash is being spent at the dispensary? No.

Has there been an emergency room spike in cannabis-related problems? Violence, accidents, acute physical reactions? Heh, no.

[The joke here is that cannabis is a famously physically safe drug, there has never been one recorded case--ever--of cannabis-induced death overdose.]

The biggest bugaboo of them all, driving, are the roads less safe now that bongs merrily bubble along in legality? For whatever reason driving safety is always a huge deal for legalization opponents, driving would have to be way less safe with all those stoners on the road. Right?

Ah, no. Cannabis is not an inhibitor-loosening drug, tokers don’t impulsively take on the road with a deathly glee. Has the California Highway Patrol frantically reported a new era of cannabis-related road accidents and death? Are citizens now fearfully turning ignition keys, knowing driving is less safe with cannabis legal? No.

In fact, what I and the California Highway Patrol are watching with laser intensity is the drunk driving rate since January 1st. If California follows other legalization models legally obtaining one drug—cannabis—will dramatically affect the death rate from that other vicious drug, alcohol. Why is that?

Definitive truth cannot be offered, but a purely personal speculation is that on any given day a certain percentage of the population is going to get chemically altered, for a variety of legitimate adult reasons. Within that percentage is a sub-group with mental problems, many of them severe and significant.

Dousing those problems with alcohol is usually a complete mental disaster that among other things often leads to a horrifying gleeful confidence in driving. Burning two bowls brings on nachos and a nap, so given that problem drug percentage of population out there determined to get altered offering them a legal safer drug leads to less drunk driving. It’s a theory.

Social resistance and contempt for cannabis remains strong in many places. Amusingly one can’t buy cannabis in Marin county, hippie California agriculture center (that’s the label, I know). Every permit was nixed, folks were afraid retail cannabis would bring in the worst riff-raff and crime to the peace of tony Mill Valley.

[rolls eyes] Legal retail cannabis outlets perform and act like any mail strip mall shop: folks go in, make a purchase, folks go out. Any size, shape, age and description one can think of, plain California American people engaging in capitalism, that’s all it is. No violence, no loitering, no using cannabis at premises, easy rules to follow that are conformed to unthinkingly. It will take some time, but Marin County will likely mellow out to cannabis.

The one definitive truth observed is that the screaming insanity of criminally prosecuting cannabis has ended, we disapprove of using bad cannabis so we’ll do the worst possible thing to you and jail you, god.

I made an internal pledge to stop writing about myself, it causes problems, but I seriously respect a Daily Kos writer, Wee Mama, she told me to pass this on. For her and the truth I will.

I have cyclical vomiting syndrome, an autonomous nervous system problem related to migraines. Like many migraine patients after at least a decade I got my fade, I am much improved and better but never the same.

In that time I puked enough to fill a swimming pool. Cannabis saved my life in two dimensions, and now I can purchase my medicine legally and in peace. Make of that what you will.

paradox :: 5:27 AM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!