Authored by: Michael Boeseman
What if I told you pharmaceutical scientists just invented a magic pill that offered a miracle cure? This pill could help people with life threatening illness with nearly no side effect.
Now what if I told you the government declared that magic pill as an illegal drug? And simply possessing it would have you arrested? Why would this be the case?
What if the magic pill wasn’t actually magic or even a pill, what if it was a natural plant? What if it was marijuana?
Marijuana in America
President Franklin D. Roosevelt first made marijuana federally illegal in 1937. The justification behind the decision was that it was dangerous. He said it was what was best for the country. But was it really?
White and Black Americans use marijuana at about the same rate. Black Americans however are four times more likely to be arrested for it. This raises the question, what was President Roosevelt really trying to protect?
Was this decision truly in favor of the people? Or was it covert racism aimed to suppress Black Americans and other minority groups? Or maybe it was in protection of the margins of Big Pharma.
The Marijuana Stigma
For generations society has been taught to believe negative stigmas and attitudes revolving around marijuana. I remember when I was a kid my mom would tell me that if my friends ever offered me weed, then they weren’t true friends.
You would think that society would scrutinize the use of alcohol or tobacco in a near similar manner as marijuana. But that is a wrong assumption. More people die from drunk driving accidents and lung conditions each year, than they do marijuana related incidents.
The Opioid Epidemic
Another generational taught attitude is trusting your doctor and what they prescribe you. In realty this is “trust Big Pharma”. Countless pill are being over prescribed to patients everyday and they are taking them without question. Pills that have nasty side effects that can often be worse than the reason they were taking them in the first place.
We live in a society that is currently battling with an epidemic. The Opioid Epidemic kills 130 people each day. Most of these deaths are from heroin or fentanyl.
For many, addiction starts in a doctor’s office. With pressures from Big Pharma, doctors over prescribe powerful painkillers. And the patient takes them without question.
This cycle leads to people becoming addicted. Why don’t doctors offer patients medical marijuana instead? I’m willing to bet, for many the outcomes would be a lot better.
Is there a Solution?
I’m sure people will agree when I say marijuana does more good than harm. And I think there is a valuable lesson in all of this. We as individuals often times give into stigmas or attitudes created by society.
As a result, we do not question “norms”, and we blindly subscribe to false notions. Whether it be the negative connotation around marijuana, or our countries history of discrimination.
Over the years, the legalization and cultural acceptance of Pot has taught me a lot. Above all however that change will not be made, unless you allow yourself to think and believe for yourself.
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