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Ethics

Submitted by Pierce Nahigyan on November 3, 2010 – 10:52 pmComments

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memorial_10_bg_053004Proposition 19 did not pass in California, and no doubt a good deal of the state is disappointed. While it’s true that the legalization of marijuana would have led to an initial hooplah there is no telling what the long term effects would have been. It would not, for a fact, impede the Mexican drug traffickers. To do that, legal California-grown pot would need to overtake Mexican supplies. If California replaced the other 49 states as the largest supplier of marijuana then it is likely that Mexican cartels would take a 25% dip in business. That is significant.

But do we need legal weed? Doctors prescribe it to their patients and yet dispensaries are continually shut down by federal operatives. That said, new dispensaries are continually rushing to take their place. In California, unless I mistake my legalese, possession of 28 grams or less is classified as a misdemeanor resulting in a fine of a mere $100. That’s roughly an ounce of marijuana. Potheads exempt, there is no reason an average citizen would carry more than that. The decriminalization of marijuana has proceeded quite steadily over the decades and, while Prop 19 made an heroic lunge, these steps are taken one at a time. We don’t need to vault a bloody stairwell and risk our mothers’ poor hearts when the point is being made by inches, not miles.

That medical marijuana has eased great suffering is proven – even by government agencies. That its beneficiaries range from insomniacs to the worst sort of cancer victims is a curious kind of blessing, especially when its side effects are as mild as sleepiness, good humor, and a bold appetite. If the fear is that the plant is addicting, it is a sound one: addiction in my experience is a personal variable that can range amongst a wide variety of habits – and pot is no exception.

But since marijuana is not legal now we will have to find other ways to help each other. I myself am applying for ordination in the Universal Life Church. Their belief is ‘To do what is right,’ their goal is ‘A fuller life for everyone,’ their objective is ‘Eternal Progression,’ and their slogan is ‘To live and to help live.’ Ordination is free from their website and they sincerely believe that we’re all just looking to get along.

I can dig it.

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