With 51 percent of Ohio voting Republican in the last presidential election, it’s clear that the heart of the state is still red blooded. Whether we like it or not, our veins will course with green as medical marijuana becomes legal in the Buckeye State this September.
Sure, this legislation isn’t fully baked and smoking the ganja is still outlawed, but it’s only a matter of time before the bud gates open. For the conservative Ohioan, it may be difficult to cope with our country’s current reefer revolution. In honor of the underground and soon-to-be national herbaceous holiday 4/20, I thought I’d play devil’s advocate for the devil’s lettuce and give you a few reasons why legal weed ain’t so bad after all.
STIMULUS PACK IT UP
You may think it’s counter intuitive for a capitalist society to legalize a plant that notoriously turns people into free-loving, farm-roaming, hippie deadbeats. In actuality, legal marijuana has proven to be a highly-successful industry. In 2017, Colorado alone made over $1 billion in pot sales. Now’s the time to get on board the cannabis-infused gravy train. It’s true some people and organizations will lose money… the government, our prison systems, big pharma, lil’ pharma, and a bunch of greedy special interest folks like the ghost of William Randolph Hearst. On the flip side, just think about the increase in Pringles sales.
NATURE’S DISCOUNT DRUG MART
One thing we can agree on is that drugs are bad, unless a doctor prescribes otherwise. The government also has to give their seal of approval, so sorry stoners. Marijuana was labeled as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency, meaning it has a strong potential for abuse, is as dangerous as meth or heroin, and has no accepted medical benefits. Some studies disagree, with claims that pot can treat glaucoma, decrease anxiety, relieve arthritis, help with PTSD, prevent cancer… and these are just a few reported benefits. What better excuse can anti-potheads have for embracing pot than the fact that it helps them remain alive and functional long enough to carry out their agenda of abolishing it?
Perhaps one of the greatest, most patriotic arguments for legalization involves renewing our forefathers 18th century attitude toward it. At the time, “marihuana,” known for its multi-purpose hemp by-product, was a valuable, renewable cash crop, and our founding trailblazers grew our beloved republic out of the very same soil as the now notorious plant. For the strict U.S. constitutionalists out there, there is no mention of pot in the legendary document, meaning the states have the right to decide how to handle it. This is one case where Ohio should probably take a page out of George Washington’s handbook and promptly roll one up with it.
GOD’S GREEN EARTH
You may or may not believe in God. If not, you’re probably fine with legal weed and can feel free to go about your godless existence. If you are a believer who is unconvinced that pot is an acceptable medicine/party favor for responsible adults, consider this: no matter what God you worship, that God put marijuana on our planet. Unlike alcohol, painkillers, and many other widely-used man-made drugs, marijuana is completely natural and has a death toll of roughly zero in the history of Earth—which is somewhere between 6,000 to 4.5 billion years old depending on who you ask. That’s a pretty good track record, so either we’re being dutifully tested for our proclivity to sin by way of a benignly evil plant, or God has exceptional taste in drugs. Which leads me to my final point…
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS STUFF?
I know you Ohio; you’re no stranger to pot. Let’s cut the charade and bring it over the counter. If you’ve never given marijuana a chance—or just didn’t inhale—you should, but I’m one to admit it’s not for everybody. Some people will toke up and feel anxious, paranoid, or glued to the couch. Sadly, it won’t cure all the sick and dying of their medical ailments, and there will surely be abuse and misuse. But for the rest of us, holy smokes—that’s some good shit.