I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana.
I have been having this argument for years.
This is not my first rodeo.
You might think it is because I have watched addiction rip out the hearts of the three children I am helping to raise. Perhaps it is because you assume this Utah girl is a prude when it comes to drugs. Maybe it is the increase in ER visits in Colorado because kiddos ate brownies and cookies their parents accidentally left in their reach. Potentially you think I am a heartless asshole who needs to catch up with the times.
To all of these things I say, rubbish.
Here are some fun facts:
- In states where marijuana is legal you are not allowed to sell marijuana if you have a felony on your record. Hell even Jay-Z talked about that in this EPIC video published by the New York Times in 2016.
- In states where marijuana is legal you have to have capital to invest in the market where money is being made. If you are in prison, it is a little difficult to raise the capital to buy into the market. This means small time drug dealers are locked out of the market leaving them competing with some of the greatest capitalists and well funded lobbyists of our time.
- African Americans are 4x more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession even though they use marijuana at the same rates. See these amazing graphics from the ACLU.
- This isn’t the weed people in my generation were smoking back in high school. According to some reports, in Colorado, the average rate of THC is 18%, in 1988 it was 3%. No one knows what daily pot smoking at 18% does to the brain. There has been some research. There needs to be more longitudinal research on what the potential mental health implications to daily smoking of marijuana with THC levels over 8% is. PS-this is the part where people get really angry at me. I can take it. I think this research is good. I also think we need lots lots lots more longitudinal research on the effects of marijuana on the brain when THC levels are so high.Here are some links to some articles in peer reviewed journals:
Cannabis use and mental-health related quality of life among individuals with depressive disorders
Cannabis really can cause paranoia
Cannabis-Induced Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features
As a social worker I cannot support an industry that is created to keep some of the most skilled drug dealers poor, imprisoned and out of the market while white men make billions and potentially trillions of dollars off of their customers.
All of these men and women who are in prison for selling weed should be released from prison with clean records and restitution for lost wages, offered board positions and shares in AmeriCann, and given a nice store front in a location of their choice.
As a feminist I cannot support an industry with such deep sexist roots where lechery is rampant and women are deemed only useful as “trim bitches” in the fields (see this phenomenal piece by Kelly Schirmann), are repeatedly objectified and harassed at marijuana business conferences, or who are concerned about having their kids removed into states custody for doing what white billionaires are doing.
On December 5, 1933 prohibition ended. This is the next frontier in prohibition. For those of you that smoke weed, who eat pot cookies, or who give your kids that magical oil for epilepsy take note, instead of advocating so hard for the legalization that benefits you, ACTIVELY ADVOCATE EXPLICITLY for legalization that includes expungement and restitution for every man and woman who is in prison for doing what those 8 rich billionaires are doing all over the country.
It’s Friday, fuck shit up y’all.
Dr. Melissa Bird
Come see me in Massachusetts on 1/17/18. Get trained to fuck shit up in your own communities! Resist and start your own damned revolution. Tickets here now!