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The dangers of medicinal pot

Published: Monday, October 1, 2012

Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 14:10

Last Thursday, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the initiative seeking to legalize medical marijuana in Arkansas may stay on the ballot.

This means that on Nov. 6, we will get the chance to decide whether Arkansas becomes the first Southern state to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes. The ruling comes after a conservative action group brought suit against the measure, claiming its title could mislead voters.

This debate is not new—many students have discussed this issue at great lengths in conversation and in The Herald, and many have expressed their support for the issue.

However, what many fail to realize is  as promising as medicinal ‘pot’ may seem, legalizing this drug for medical purposes may bring far more problems than we realize.

The text of the ballot measure said it will seek to establish “a system for the cultivating, acquisition and distribution of marijuana for qualifying patients through nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries” and will authorize “limited cultivation of marijuana by qualifying patients or designated caregivers.”

Also, certain individuals will have the right to grow marijuana, as long as they strictly follow the regulations in place.

But the likelihood of marijuana growers following all the rules and not selling it illegally is slim.

Just ask California police, who have struggled to keep this under control, spending much time, effort and money to keep marijuana growers within the legal constraints of the system, according to an NBC News article entitled “Marijuana grows openly in California towns as traffickers hide behind laws, police say.”

Gov. Mike Beebe expressed his concern about the issue, stating in a Reuters article, “It’s going to require a whole lot of administration from the health department. I don’t know where we’re going to get it from.”

Another potential consequence is the harm brought to average neighborhoods and communities like Jonesboro.

Bill Wheeler of the Families First Action Committee said it best when he noted that houses known to grow marijuana will entice thieves and criminals, adversely affecting property values and the safety of neighborhoods in general.

But my main problem with the law is proponents fail to answer this simple question: if marijuana is simply another type of medicine, why must it be exempt from the regular FDA process of going through a registered pharmacy?
The law clearly assumes “qualifying patients” will not abuse the drug, for it does not provide enough protective measures.

Sadly, many who would be prescribed marijuana may neither realize nor care about the risks involved.

According to, marijuana is an addictive substance that can lead to depression and aggressive behavior when abused.

We need to more carefully examine the effects and conduct more studies to validate its use before making it widely available.

If not, I fear we could end up legalizing a drug that will harm not only the general public, but also the very ones it promises to help.


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3 comments Log in to Comment
Tue Oct 2 2012 14:45
Jeff speaks from ignorance and an inordinate prejudice against something natural that God put here for human use. He would be better served and of better service if he applied his logic to the pharmaceutical industry which has done way more harm than anything God ever made. The FDA and the government serve at the pleasure of the corporations who buy their elections for them. They have known for decades that THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, one of the psychoactive ingredients in the Cannabis called 'marijuana' first by a racist and financially threatened William Randolph Hearst...hemp makes better paper than trees, faster and cheaper with 0% pollution, and Hearst owned the timber) shrinks tumors, and they hid the information from the public. I daresay that if someone loved by Mr. Davidson had cancer back then and he knew about this, he might have a much different viewpoint. I could go on and on, after having studied it for over forty years, but what I have said is enough to cause Mr. Davidson to seriously reconsider his opinion. He could also look at This concentrated oil has taken cancer patients off their deathbeds after the hospital/pharmaceutical industries had written them off as dead already for all practical purposes. Before an opinion letter is published, I suggest that the writer has to take a subject literacy test to keep the intelligence level of the paper higher (no pun intneded).
Mon Oct 1 2012 21:52
It may be true that some will use it in illegal ways, but what about all those chemotherapy patients who wakes up every few hours puking there guts out, do u know it helps with nasia? Or Rheumatoid arthritis, when it hurts just to walk from the bed to the bathroom, marijuana is a major pain killer, should someone have to suffer in pain when there is something with very little side affects out there. Pain pills have a list a mile long of side affects *AND PEOPLE STEEL THOSE TOO* my husband has had over 60 something surgerys, and pain killers make him sick, he wakes up every morning puking, and hurting, and I'll be honest with you, when he does smoke it makes a world of a difference. You might want to rethink the pro's and con's, what if it was ur husband/wife that was suffering all these people want is a little pain relief.
Mon Oct 1 2012 16:15
American taxpayers are being forced to pay $40 Billion a year for a prohibition that causes 10,000 brutal murders & 800,000 needless arrests each year, but which doesn't even stop CHILDREN getting marijuana.

After seventy-five years of prohibition, it's obvious that the federal marijuana prohibition causes FAR more harm than good and must END! Drug Dealers Don't Card, Supermarkets Do.

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