It’s all intoxicating

Yes, I tried smoking marijuana many years ago, which only resulted in a three-day headache and left me pondering: What is all the fuss about, and why would I invite this smoking habit into my life?

Cannabis, as we now know, is legal in the country of Canada and many states in the USA. The drug has been illegally available for decades, yet people have a strong desire to reap is tranquilizing and intoxicating effects.

If I may offer a quick 101 med course, all medicines originate from basic sources of animal, mineral, plant or synthetic. We have original or manufactured medications that are administered in several ways to treat any given ailment or disease. My focus for this writing purpose is that element of “plant.” This, in my opinion, is where cannabis should be categorized — A MEDICINAL PLANT. We have seen the true benefits of this plant with treatment of glaucoma, seizure disorders, nerve pain, PTSD condition and AIDS side effects, among others.

For my acceptance of cannabis to be on the market, it should NOT be used for any other purpose other than medical. To be able to have this or any drug available for treatment of a patient’s needs and benefit should be the paramount purpose and no other. The fact that certain parts of the population found marijuana could bring about sedating, intoxicating, euphoric and sense inebriation effects is no reason for any government, state or country to legalize said drug.

Given my age, I have had the opportunity to observe and witness regular users of “pot” for decades. If I were called upon to give a personal review of said individual(s), it would have to be a ONE-star rating. I have never witnessed anyone’s life being enhanced or improved by the use of recreational marijuana. If anything, most motivation and advancement ceases. They appear to have been “worn and torn.”

To wish yourself to mellow out, enter la-la land, lessen your judgment skills and add in a beer or two shows me nothing but a “dumbing down” of our society and population, and a lack of responsibility toward others — particularity if you chose to drive a vehicle during your recreation time.

Let us examine just why several states are now allowing and wanting to legalize cannabis: MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. All states and counties are experiencing some of the most crushing, defeating fiscal budgets ever to be had. With infrastructure needs, school failures, entitlement programs, social services, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, one-parent homes, health care, etc., etc., state lawmakers saw a need and avenue to become part of a profit machine. Many do not want to take the road but are leaning toward this option as a method of survival and viability. Law authorities have been losing ground for decades attempting to manage or control the marijuana market and its negative effects on young people and people’s behaviors. Popular demand has placed this drug at the forefront of legalization, and our lawmakers are now having to condescend as they have no real management of its use or distribution. So why not go into the retail business and profit from all the multi-million dollars in taxes generated, which will help pay for all the much-needed items on the state agenda?

Thus, we have arrived at this juncture and have much further to go. Lawmakers are told repeatedly by law enforcement agencies that cannabis is a gateway for continued use and for that of other habit-forming drugs.

I have to wonder just what kind of society we are creating and allowing. We increase our national military budget to become more secure in the world and continue to send our men and women overseas to defend our freedoms. People are killed, maimed and return home to the USA with a mental status forever changed. I have to wonder how these soldiers feel knowing they risk and change their lives fighting for the freedom for drug use back home. Very admirable on the home front to be able to concentrate on this issue when so much more needs to be considered.

The nation and states are now having to infuse tens of millions of tax dollars in an attempt to eradicate the opioid epidemic infiltrating our cities and towns. Everyone knows a party or two affected by drug or alcohol abuse. It is an extremely sad commentary for a nation and its population to be recognized because of its addictions. To think a nation of heroes go to war to protect this kind of free-will behavior. We have to do much better than this. Every person has a responsibility to do their part, do the right thing, get responsible and learn to deal with life issues in an effective, positive manner. No problems or negative circumstances have ever been overcome or improved by the use of drugs or alcohol.

Bruce Van Vranken lives in Tupper Lake.