Sunday, November 14, 2021

Why I Oppose Medical Marijuana

I don't really oppose medical marijuana, only the process that has brought it to market.

In general, I hew to the philosophy of  ‘leaving it to the professionals’.   Yes, I support all of us engaging in some measure of due diligence, but I try to select advisors and professionals whom I trust. If they have knowledge and experience that I lack, shouldn't their views carry more weight than mine?

In my own life, and probably yours, there are many areas in which I simply am not capable of any due diligence. If a car mechanic, for example, recommends that an expensive part needs to be replaced, I can only hope that this is truly necessary.  If the folks we deal with are honest and experienced, then things will tend to fall into place as they should.  Obviously, for this to work out well, several assumptions need to be true.

Many people today soundly reject the ‘leave it to the professionals’ philosophy.  For most of my life, the curricula in our public schools was dictated by education professionals.  When I was a student in grade school through high school, I don’t recall any protests or objections to our courses of study.  Yes, I’m sure that if our assignments, book reports, reading materials and classroom discussions were viewed through today’s prisms, that there would be many legitimate issues to criticize.  But, the zeitgeist today seems to be to criticize and protest everything.  Dialogue is neither encouraged nor practiced.

Indeed, there’s a benefit today to reject professionals' advice.  Candidates today are buoyed by championing the rights of parents to have a real voice in what their kids are being taught in public schools.  Police departments are being monitored by citizens who do not have formal training or experience in law enforcement.   I’m not weighing in on these issues, only pointing out how the situation has flipped. 

Medical Marijuana Approved by Legislators!
(What Have They Been Smoking?)

Here in Ohio, a bill has recently been sponsored that would add various medical indications for medical marijuana use including autism, muscle spasms, headaches, arthritis and other conditions.  In my view this is ridiculous.  I’ve written before and continue to be believe that elected legislators should not be making medical decisions.  Not only do they have no requisite training and experience, but their mere involvement politicizes the process.  It’s axiomatic that politicians support stuff in order to get folks to vote for them.  How is such a process defensible with regard to medical care?  (Hint, it isn’t.)  And to those who defend it, why not then have lawmakers decide on drugs or treatments for heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease or cancer?  Do you think that lobbyists or corporate donors might be able to influence legislators on adding a disease or two to the medical marijuana list?  (Hint, answer 'yes' here.)

Sure, there are medical studies out there that show medical benefits of marijuana.  But, this is not sufficient.  Medical marijuana, like any proposed medical treatment, must be subjected to rigorous and impartial scientific inquiry with final approval or rejection falling to the FDA, where this authority resides.  

There are spheres of society where professionals must remain in charge, even though others voices should be heard.  If you want medical advice, then ask a doctor.  If there’s a rattle in your car, then don’t ask me.


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