However, it’s not necessarily a unanimous decision. There are still a great many challenges and appeals to be dealt with at the high level, and all sorts of zoning, law enforcement, profit, taxes, and medical oversight issues at the local level.
If I must say so, it is fascinating, however, to watch the democratic process in action, as citizens rally on either side of this debate.
I think back to my days in the 1700s, when just about the only medicinals we had recourse to were herbs and other natural substances, usually derived from plants. And for the really serious cases, such as illnesses that brought one to the brink of death, there were opiates to help ease the pain in one’s final days. There weren’t all the hundreds of different pills and potions you have here today, thanks to the pharmaceutical industry.
I can readily understand the fear on the part of some citizens, who see this legalization of marijuana as opening the door to all sorts of other evils. Yet I can also perceive the benefits this could bring, as certain health conditions that could be relieved by this particular plant substance might finally be treatable in a more humane fashion.
As to concerns about law enforcement – yes, this does pose all sorts of questions, especially when existing laws all seem to prohibit the use of this substance, and impose very serious penalties for violating the law.
On the other hand, a large percentage of this country’s law enforcement resources could be freed up, liberated from the single-minded obsession with stopping the drug trade. When police are no longer required to go out and prosecute what seem to be minor offenses involving marijuana (some say no more serious than public intoxication with beer or wine), they can then turn their attention to other more pressing and more dangerous problems of public safety.
Truly, a vexing dilemma.
Your humble servant,