Friday, April 08, 2005

Not Normal

High school kids that like to smoke pot are not an easy group to parent. Both E and I are dealing with this problem with our current and recent high school age kids. The kids seem to think it is their recreational right to smoke. It is just another activity like playing violent video games and downloading music to their iPods.

It doesn’t help that we have a screwy set of laws around marijuana. In 1996 California passed another one of their wacky, “activists” propositions, Prop. 215 – California Compassionate Use Act. This law removes criminal penalties for personal use possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes by patients who have a physician's recommendation or approval. To service the needs of patients a plethora of medical marijuana dispensaries or cannabis clubs have popped up in the Bay Area.

I believe I voted for this proposition. It seemed to make sense at the time. Sick people should not be denied a simple and easy drug that could relieve their symptoms of pain and nausea. I still believe that the truly sick should have access to medical marijuana. I mistakenly thought this would serve cancer, MS, glaucoma, anorexia, and AIDS patients. In fact, physicians can recommend marijuana for such common complaints as insomnia, post-traumatic stress, PMS, depression, and substance abuse(!?!).

The main problem is that the dispensaries and clubs are not regulated and monitored like pharmacies or even liquor stores. It was not spelled out in the law how to distribute or make available medical marijuana. These "stores" will sell to anyone, even a kid, who can show a physician’s letter of recommendation or approval. It is not even a prescription. Physicians are not allowed to prescribe marijuana. Federal law restricts prescriptions to drugs licensed for sale in pharmacies. You can buy at least 8 ounces of pot every time you go to a club. Apparently you can go as often as you want. The law even allows counties and cities to establish higher (but not lower) limits if they wish. Need a list of where to get some?

High school kids have learned to exploit this weak system. All you need is to get a physician’s letter of recommendation. It can’t be as hard as getting a fake driver’s license or ID. Buy $50 worth of pot or marijuana brownies from your neighborhood cannabis club and resell it to your friends and make a several hundred dollars. It couldn’t be easier.

They system is a mess and it is screwing with the lives of kids. I say make marijuana legal but regulate and tax the shit out of it like cigarettes and alcohol.


troy said...

Pot smoking teens have got to be the easiest kids to parent! I don't know from first hand experience, but have plenty of friends that smoke it. For medical marijuana patients, they receive a card, like a license stating their status as a patient. You can't even enter the cannibas store without that license. However, pot either makes you lazy, thoughtful or creative. It's certainly not dangerous in terms of violent behavior and not nearly as bad as cigarettes for your body.

I think dealing with it the same way as cigarettes or alcohol is the best way. You can't and won't keep them from doing what they want. You can only control what they tell you about based on whether they think you understand them and understand that they're going to do it anyway. It "can" get out of control, sure. I think the worse part of both alcohol and cigarettes in reference to young people is the lack of honest education about it. "Don't do it because it's bad. And here's an example of someone who died from using it!" That doesn't really help in the long run.

Oh, and even if you have a state issued license to use medical marijuana, you can still be prosecuted on a federal level. California can't protect you. Talk about a fucked up system.

Well, I'm not telling you anything new... I agree with you, might as well legalize it and tax it. Good bye deficit.

J Verde said...

We now have Medicinal Marijuana in Phoenix as well. I wonder what this is going to do to the crime rate?

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