You have to hand it to the U.S. Government. Without the money, might, and monotony of this monolith, it would have been impossible to suppress and distort the truth about cannabis – a plant used beneficially by humans for the last 5,000 to 10,000 years.
But that’s in the past, because the truth — like a plant — has the habit of coming to the surface no matter how many times it’s stepped on.
Thanks to the Internet, the greatest information sharing and publishing facility in history, we now have access to a wealth of historical records, medical research, and user experiences about cannabis. The net result of all this information is that everyday people, not just people involved in the medical marijuana community, are starting to learn the truth. So this series of articles is a way for you to counter “official” lies, propaganda and misinformation with the kind of hard-hitting facts that just might change some minds, and perhaps save some lives in the process…maybe yours, or that of someone you care about.
Myth: Medical Marijuana is a farce because healthy young people are often seen coming out of dispensaries with bags of weed. All they have to do is lie to a doctor about some imaginary pain and they can buy drugs.
This line of thinking reminds me of white bigots back in the 1970s, who were always talking about black people on welfare driving Cadillacs, the quintessential “expensive car” at the time. No matter how many Fords and Chevys they saw with black families inside, they would only remember the one guy driving the Cadillac. And they would never explain exactly how they “knew” that guy was on welfare, because to them all black people were on welfare.
When a large, visible portion of medical marijuana patients are relatively young, it’s easy for this same kind of mentality to assume these patients are “cheating”. What the critics don’t think about is that there’s a very good reason that many of these patients are both young and in need of medication, and that is that they’re military veterans.
Veterans often suffer from intractable pain, PTSD, or both. Ironically, many of the self-righteous people that attack medical marijuana often claim to be pro-military and pro-veteran.
It’s also true that the average person – or doctor, for that matter – cannot reliably diagnose illness simply by seeing someone walk out of a dispensary. Can you tell whether someone has cancer, AIDS, or depression by their age and general appearance?
I once met a beautiful girl in her 20s at a dispensary, and was shocked to find out she had already survived 11 operations for various cancers. You certainly couldn’t tell by looking at her, but she was only able to walk around because she had access to medical marijuana.
Do some people lie about their symptoms to get “legalized” as patients? I’m sure some people do. But the vast majority of such people are already using marijuana, and buying it illegally on the street. While they may be abusing the medical marijuana system, they’re not really adding to any “drug problem”.
On the other hand, the U.S. Government admits there are about 7 million Americans currently abusing prescription drugs, which comes to about a billion pills a year. Considering that every single one of those doses is allegedly handled only via doctors, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, that’s an awful lot of dangerous drugs being manufactured, distributed, and abused right under the noses of the FDA and DEA.
Since there are only 2 to 3 million legal medical marijuana patients in all of North America, there are clearly far more people lying about their symptoms and getting access to addictive and dangerous drugs through the traditional medical system. Such people are directly responsible for shortages of opiates that truly seriously ill people need, and for raising the cost of health insurance premiums and prescription drug prices for everyone. People who lie to get medical marijuana are guilty of neither of these things.
It’s also important to remember that tens of millions of Americans buy marijuana illegally without having to bother lying to a doctor or anyone else. I know a number of people with serious medical problems who don’t have a medical marijuana card, even though they could qualify easily. They buy marijuana on the street cheaper than in a dispensary, and that’s important to them because they can’t even afford to see a doctor for a marijuana recommendation.