Someone over at CNN has made a claim in a recent headline “Medical marijuana laws may reduce painkiller overdoses“. I feel this is the textbook definition of “pie-in-the-sky”.
Medical Marijuana – as an oxymoron* in its own right – might cover some of the Rx drugs that are being diverted today, but I have my doubts. The effects of oxycodone are far more exciting than those of marijuana, and far more addicting. Also, the Rx narcotics have a much greater resale value on the street.
Oxycodone, on the other hand, has a great multi-level sales system. Grandpa gets a prescription and pays a copay. Granddaughter steals a few and sells them for $5 each to another guy who knows where he can get $10. I’ve heard that some prescription opioids (narcotics) are selling for as much as $50 per pill. The oxycodone market is far greater than the medical marijuana market. It is also far easier/quicker to swallow a couple of pills than to light up a martijuana cigarette.
As long as something is heavily controlled it has a better black market (just think about what people pay for a small bag of dried weeds). Regardless of the words we all banter about, marijuana is a gateway drug for heavier stuff – and referring to it as medical doesn’t change anything. People who are inclined to seek chemical highs will not be forever satisfied with marijuana. They will look for higher highs and end up with heroin if they’re really unlucky. It is very easy to do, though.
Contrary to the CNN report, I predict an increased use of prescription drugs and more heroin – with the appropriate increases in overdose deaths. How can it be any other way?
The damnable part is that there is no way to identify if someone is using marijuana or any other substance without a blood test – or at an autopsy.
I still hold that changing words to make a dangerous substance mainstream is a bad move, regardless of how good the tax revenue looks. My main issue is that we are sanitizing the drug by calling it medical marijuana.
I see things differently than many people. I connect the dots and see nothing but disasters in a future where more of us are getting buzzed on more than just beer and wine.
As an alternative to inaccurately referring to marijuana as a form of medicine, I’d sugges de-criminalizing (legalizing) its use. Clear the jails of users and devise a way for non-users to know who might be using around them. Sell pot legally in a controlled fashion while also developing simple tests to determine who uses and when they have used too much (the legal alcohol limit is an example). Punish people appropriately when they break a law or harm someone while intoxicated on weed. Only put them in jail if the offense dictates, not just because they smoke a joint. Illegal dealers must be put out of business and all sales must be handled by licensed facilities – and sales should only be to people over 21. It works fairly well for alcohol and it would also work for marijuana. Severely fine and punish anyone who grows and sells without a license – like they do for the illegal booze makers.
Let’s not connect two separate issues just because they both are touting the moniker of “medicine”.
In a related topic, don’t be fooled into believing that changing oxycodone to a different schedule will reduce the illegal use. The motivation of companies that make drugs is to sell them, not restrict them.
*OXYMORON: a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous,seemingly self-contradictory effect, as in “cruel kindness” or “to makehaste slowly.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oxymoron