Article by Richard Cowan
In order to understand how the politics of marijuana prohibition actually works, remember that anti-prohibitionist websites almost always have links to prohibitionist propaganda sites, but prohibitionists almost never link to our sites.
This is a real advantage for us in a live debate, because the prohibitionists often seem surprised. The reason for this difference is fairly simple. We want you to know and understand the lies they are telling, but they don’t want you to know the truth we are telling. As I liked to say, freedom has nothing to fear from the truth.
For decades, a major meme in the prohibitionist party line has centered around the THC content in marijuana. The purpose is simply to discredit the direct observation of us old folks who used marijuana back in the sixties, “when everybody thought it was harmless.”
Even President Trump’s hapless Surgeon General tried that line: “This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,” he claimed.
However, having failed to stop legalization, it is being repurposed to deprive both recreational consumers and patients of their freedom to choose. That will be great for the black market.
The prohibitionists who control the Florida Republican Party opposed medical marijuana but the people approved a constitutional amendment via an initiative that created Florida’s medical marijuana program. It was approved by 71% of Florida voters on November 8, 2016.
That means that the legislators cannot repeal it, but they can gut it, and they seem intent on doing just that.
Representative Spencer Roach is sponsoring a bill that would restrict the THC levels in medical marijuana products to 10 percent for whole flower and 60 percent for other products while also limiting patients to 15,000 milligrams of THC every 35 days.
(His Wikipedia page describes his occupation as “Attorney, and horrible human being who wants to keep medicine away from Patients who are in pain so his own pockets can benefit.”
Seems about right. Who am I to argue? (I wonder how long it will take for him to deny the obvious.)
Jodi James with the Florida Cannabis Action Network pointed out, “No one has ever died from cannabis. This is a safe, effective medicine and when it is used under the medical marijuana program we’re making sure that the doses are pure and precise>’
Roach tried to compare cannabis with Aspirin, “I mean we’re talking about 10 million milligrams over a 70-day period. That’s about 780 bottles of 24-count Aspirin.”
Yes, but every year, the side effects of long-term NSAID (Aspirin, Acetaminophen,etc) use cause nearly 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths. “More people die each year from NSAIDs-related complications than from AIDS and cervical cancer in the United States.”
And all of these drugs are sold over-the-counter without limitation.
In any case, the difference between flower with 10% THC and 20% THC is one toke, but double the smoke. Limiting “vape” to 60% THC would simply increase whatever heated material is used to dilute the THC.
Nonetheless, the bill was passed through its first committee with a party-line vote, but at least two Republicans expressed serious concerns with the THC caps, saying it “sounded too close to lawmakers playing doctor.”
Ironically, one of the standard prohibitionist arguments against medical marijuana initiatives has been the claim that we don’t approve medicine by voting. Of course, the initiatives are actually about whether we should arrest people for using a plant.
Meanwhile back in the real world, this bill would be a gift to the black market. Florida remains a major route for cocaine smuggling, and the smugglers will be more than happy to provide Floridians with the dreaded “potent pot.”
Oh wait, they already are. Florida hasn’t legalized recreational marijuana, so if the people of Florida are bold enough to vote for it, the legislature can put them in their place, and preserve the black market. No one is going to pay more for less.
Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of Can CBD Benefit Your Fitness Journey?