Written by Christopher Meyer | 11:00 am on January 21, 2012
Our culture condones and encourages alcohol consumption socially often to the point of inebriation as a recent Centers for Disease Control study shows. Binge alcohol consumption (more than 5 drinks per occasion) is on the rise with consequences for safety and health.
Compared to alcohol those using marijuana are safer drivers, aren’t prone to violence or risky behavior, and suffer very few negative consequences, yet the double standard of criminalization of cannabis remains.
The CDC has reason to believe that binge drinking has negative health consequences, and can lead to risky sexual behavior, automobile accidents, and physical violence.
In response to these risks the page offers actions governments, communities, and healthcare professionals can take to help reduce binge drinking.
Rather astutely the site recommends recognizing the number of deaths and disease caused by binge drinking, and supporting community strategies to help discourage binge drinking including education campaigns.
Given that many are concerned with potential negative effects of cannabis, any of the above recommendations would be effective in treating the perceived threat of cannabis dependence instead of involving normal citizens in an overburdened penal system.
Why should cannabis be treated differently?
Despite binge drinking among adults being on the rise, teen alcohol and tobacco use is down which pose far greater health and social risks than cannabis.
Parents should be able to educate their children about marijuana in open dialogue without a cloud of taboo hanging over the conversation.
Although millions of Americans go drinking every day to relax, socialize, and even do business, those who use marijuana towards the same ends are treated with suspicion and labeled as criminals.
The study makes clear to state that ‘most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent or alcoholics’.
Contrast the way cannabis users are perceived and the hypocrisy of our cultural values become clear. Someone who consumes cannabis, even infrequently is labeled as a stoner though they are no different than one of the many American’s who binge drink, but are not considered ‘alcoholics’.
The double standard allowing the real risk of alcohol to be treated with community efforts of education while cannabis users go to jail and violent drug trafficking operations make billions is unconscionable.
This divide is systemic prejudice against a plant known to be a safe medicine, food, and valuable industrial fiber.
Educating people about the safety of cannabis is vital and must begin to outweigh the din of prohibitionist propaganda.
Responsible use is what we should advocate for any drug including alcohol and cannabis. We should work to empower parents to educate their children about appropriate uses of all types of drugs and empower young adults to make good choices when they encounter them.
Written by Christopher Meyer | 10:54 am on December 12, 2011
Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled on Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee. Directly confronting Justice Department policies concerning the regulation of medical marijuana, Representative Jared Polis asked questions which most concern the medical marijuana industry as it teeters between state and federal law.
Each of the 3 topics that Polis asked about received essentially the same answer. The simple message is this: Given their limited resources, the Department of Justice will not make it an enforcement priority to prosecute medical marijuana providers that are acting in conformity with state law.
You may be thinking that the medical marijuana community is breathing a sigh of relief, but this presents no drastic change in the official policy of the Department of Justice, and there is not sign that marijuana will disapear from federal view any time soon. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 4:09 pm on October 19, 2011
Naturally occurring cannabinoids found in medical marijuana that interact with the immune and nervous systems have been shown to have anti-tumor properties.
Even with an abundance of supporting evidence, the US still limits research on cannabis in US labs with a heavy hand. Despite the concerted effort of a wide range of cannabis activists, the US will not reschedule marijuana to Schedule II where medicinally valuable controlled substances are grouped including cocaine, used as an anesthetic, and opioid pain killers. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:10 pm on October 13, 2011
In a shocking betrayal of president Obama’s campaign promise not to interfere with medical marijuana in states where citizens voted to make it legal, US Attorneys in California have sent letters to landlords of prominent dispensaries threatening criminal charges and property seizure if they don’t evict their tenants.
It was that same promise that ultimately led to the Green Rush of 2009 and 2010 in Colorado. Hopeful cannapreneurs with slightly less fear of federal scrutiny took to opening retails centers, while patients signed up in droves. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 6:10 pm on September 6, 2011
It is a cruel irony that the de-prohibition of the cannabis plant used as a medicine could occur before legal hemp production comes to fruition in the United States.
The oldest know human artifact is an 8000 year old piece of hemp cloth found in the Mesopotamia (modern-day Turkey) where western human civilization began.
It suffices to say that the cannabis plant has accompanied humanity throughout our history for its usefulness as a fiber, as a food, and as medicine. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 11:22 am on August 19, 2011
- Tenth Amendment
This is the second part in our series exploring how the advancement of the marijuana movement does more than just erode prohibitionist attitudes, and has far-reaching benefits in many aspects of our society.
Ending marijuana prohibition in Colorado isn’t just about the medicine. The ability of states to set laws that govern what goes on within their borders as provided by the Tenth Amendment is also at stake. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 12:57 pm on August 14, 2011
Consider the recent death of a teenager in jail who was arrested for marijuana possession after being stopped for not having lights while riding his bike at night, and take it as an example of myriad other tales of ruin that have come as a consequence of the war on drugs.
With this in mind, I will be exploring how the marijuana movement is representative of much more than just fighting cannabis prohibition.
This is the first part of a many part series investigating the many facets of this theme. Now, let us explore how the prosecution of cannabis users and producers has played a part in the lives of Americans. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 11:23 am on August 6, 2011
Until she finds out, Arizona’s medical marijuana program is on hold. Meanwhile untaxed, unregulated collectives are being formed.
This has evoked a response from US Attorney Scott Risner who filed a motion asking the federal judge to dismiss the case saying, “Their complaint presents no actual controversy, instead asking this Court for an advisory opinion as to a hypothetical dispute in which Plaintiffs [State of Arizona] themselves pick no side but rather resort to a purported disagreement among various fictional Defendants [State Employees].” (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:40 pm on July 28, 2011
You won’t hear about limits to how many barley plants a brewer may grow, or how many cocoa leaves a pharmaceutical company may possess to manufacture pain killers, yet Colorado’s newly enacted regulatory scheme not only requires that medical marijuana businesses limit the number of plants according to the number of patients that they serve, we must also connect specific plants to specific people.
Aggravating the situation is a graduated fee schedule the State of Colorado has created for medical marijuana center license. This means the more patients who declare a medical marijuana center as their primary provider, the more the medical marijuana center has to pay in licensing fees. (more…)
Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:10 pm on April 14, 2011
A bill that would set a blood content limit for THC has already passed the Colorado House of Representatives. HB 1261 goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, April 18th at 1:30pm in the Old Supreme Court Chambers of the State Capitol on the 2nd Floor.
This is one of the final opportunities for the public to offer comment on the bill. Denver Relief will be there to express our ardent disapproval.
The bill sets a ”per se” limit which means that if someone were to test over the limit, they would have no defense regarding impairment. They would be charged with a DUI equivalent to that of drunk driving without any mitigation for being a medical patient with a higher tolerance to cannabis. (more…)