Florida flag with cannabis leaves

Sunshine State of Cannabis

A PhD at Rutgers University recently said, “Hypocrisy is a special case of cognitive dissonance, produced when a person freely chooses to promote a behavior that they do not themselves practice.” Individuals who claim to care about public safety and the medical needs of their neighbors, but fail to acknowledge the benefits of welcoming cannabis, are exhibiting hypocrisy.

Currently

This is because it is almost the year 2020, and cannabis is already legal in over 33 states for medical use and 11 for adult-use. There is no evidence that the legalization of marijuana encourages use among youth. In fact, the data often shows a decline following the legalization of adult-use cannabis and no change after only medical. Researchers determined this is likely due to licensed medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs/dispensaries) replacing unlicensed “drug dealers.” MMTCs require proof of age and/or medical card for purchase, drug dealers do not. Anderson et al. confirmed this and published their findings in JAMA Pediatrics.

Medical vs. Recreational

Those who vote for “medical marijuana” yet dismiss “adult-use cannabis” are exhibiting hypocrisy as well. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Miami determined most recreational marijuana users are doing so as an alternative to prescription or over the counter (OTC) medicines. The conclusion of their study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs stated:

“In a survey of adult use customers, we found that the majority reported taking cannabis to relieve pain or to promote sleep. In addition, most respondents taking cannabis for pain or sleep reported substituting cannabis for prescription or over-the-counter analgesics or sleep aids. Our findings suggest that de facto medical use may be highly prevalent among adult use customers, and that access to an adult use cannabis market may influence individuals’ use of other medications.”

While these research findings do not guarantee absolute zero risks of cannabis legalization, they surely dispel some common myths. Additionally, we know prohibition failed with alcohol, is currently failing with cannabis, and now other entheogenic (psychedelic) plants and fungi are being freed internationally. 

Change is Needed

When the status quo is failing, it is time for change. The war on drugs has been a failure since the days of Harry Anslinger, to Nixon’s Controlled Substance Act, Joe Biden’s Civil Asset Forfeiture campaign, and most recently by the DEA’s failure to license additional federal cannabis growers. 

This has resulted in the government holding a monopoly on the cannabis that researchers can use for their studies. The poorly grown cannabis is more genetically close to hemp than the marijuana used by most Americans. It also has been found to have mold and low levels of cannabinoids. This resulted in Dr. Sue Sisley, a DEA licensed cannabis researcher, taking legal action against the DEA over their failure to process her application to grow her own. According to Dr. Sisley, the University of Mississippi’s cannabis crop is not only moldy and low quality, it lacks the diversity found in the medical and recreational markets of the U.S. 

If the research material is not even close to the material actually used, how can the research be accurate?

Our Vertical "Cartel"

Speaking of diversity 71.3% of Florida voters voted to approve Amendment II which resulted in a strictly vertically integrated “cartel-like” oligopoly. Gov. DeSantis has referred to it as such himself. Yet, when petitioner Florigrown won their case which would allow them to be licensed and potentially allow for horizontal integration, Gov. DeSantis supported a rarely used “en blanc” appeal, stalling further efforts to do away from the cartel system. It would appear the true priority is not public safety or the quality of life of the patients, but it is instead the financial hopes of investors and the safety of their monies.

The Stigma is Still Very Real

People who dismiss all the studies that have been cited, all the patients’, caregivers’ and doctors’ testimonies are not doing so because they do not believe, they are doing so because they have been conditioned by pseudoscience and propaganda against cannabis. They are doing so because deep down they still feel that plant medicine is taboo, they believe everything requires a government stamp of approval. Unfortunately, many FDA approved drugs and treatments cause more death than receiving no treatment at all. Most patients who wish to use medical cannabis have already tried dozens of pharmaceuticals and had a bad experience with them. They do not want to wait for the government’s approval again.

More Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is seen again when people claim they support the medicinal use of cannabis but do not want dispensaries in their towns. If safety is again the goal, then perhaps we should ban the local pharmacies first. We can’t have people driving around picking up their pain killers and benzodiazepines, potentially taking them, and driving. Let’s ban the bars and liquor stores too while we’re at it. Let’s ban the sale of tobacco, which has no medicinal value and is highly addictive and causes death.

The reality is, banning everything does not work and would only create a black market for all substances and services desired. Never mind that we have cancer patients, disabled veterans, and citizens in debilitating pain. They aren’t allowed to have an easily accessible dispensary, where they can sit down and consult with experts to discuss options and treatment plans. They have to get their medication “delivered.” All banning things does, including and especially medical cannabis, is restrict it from law abiding citizens and create a market for the opposite.

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