Aaron Brachfeld - - - There has rarely been truth in advertising, and much advertising for addictive substances. Any product which represents a potential lifetime subscription is a significant investment for a consumer. And if that lifetime subscription presents secondary costs – such as ill health or even death – the manufacturer must make a very good case for why it should be bought.
Cigarettes were once argued – against the conventions of medical science – to be wholesome, natural plant-based herbs whose active chemicals (some of which were psychoactive) had long-term health benefits. And, it is a fact that tobacco can cure skin cancer, and the nicotine in tobacco has a beneficial impact on PTSD, and several other psychological diseases. Yet even against these real benefits, the cost made the cure worse than the disease. And it has become so commonly understood today that tobacco is not worth the cost that consumption is noticeably decreasing.
Cocaine, too, was used in numerous medical compounds to treat disease – against the conventions of medical science. So was opium.
And the health benefits of even alcohol – which, medical convention aside, is commonly understood to be unwholesome and bad for health – has even been touted recently. With limited success: nobody is buying into the advertising that a drink a day keeps the doctor away.
There is no need to make the same mistake with marijuana.
Marijuana is promoted as having many of the same benefits as tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, opium and other narcotics have been promoted as having. The reason is simple: they are all narcotics, and therefore have similar properties. This means, too, that they have similar risks.
Narcotics are addictive. They are carcinogens. They prevent normal cognition and are a cause for psychological disease. They cause irreparable harm to the several organs of the body, and can even lead to birth defects through both the paternal and maternal inheritance.
Just because marijuana, tobacco, cocaine and opium are all from plants does not mean they are necessarily good for you like vegetables are. Socrates is not famous for enjoying a long and healthy life because of his choice in herbal tea.
Similarly, just because they may have a positive effect on a disease does not mean that they are the best choice, or that the benefit hasn’t come at great cost. Amputation is an effective and safe cure for a papercut, but the side-effects make the cure worse than the disease. And to use amputation as a cure for a headache?
Alcohol does in fact treat migraines, anxiety, arthritis, insomnia, bladder infections, the common cold, heartburn, indigestion, sinus congestion, hot flashes, PMS and other illnesses – just as well as marijuana or other narcotics, in fact. But narcotics tend to worsen the disease whose symptoms they treat, and cause other diseases as well and none of these should be the first choice for a patient.
As for those rare cases when it is the last choice of desperation? Federal law already permitted and provided for the free use of narcotics for those few diseases which require them when the legalization of marijuana for medical use was undertaken by several States under the false political advertisement that patients could neither obtain nor afford these narcotics.
Shortly after states redundantly legalized marijuana for medical use, the narcotic was legalized for recreational use as a harmless high and good source of tax revenue.
But already economic analysis is indicating that the public is the loser in this bad bargain: tax revenues did increase, but insufficiently to balance the increased costs in social services required by that legalization. So taxes were raised, and raised again: but high as they are, the taxes are not covering the costs.
Your taxes right now are very high. High as in inebriated. The “down” will come, and then we will all be left feeling a little sick.