In a newspaper headline that should go down in history as a momentous “Thank you, Captain Obvious!” moment, USA Today really, actually published this real life headline:
“Pot use, abuse more likely in states with medical marijuana laws, study shows”
Are you serious? People actually consume more marijuana in states where it’s been legalized? How shocking!
Sarcasm aside, before anyone comments that the article is referring to illegal use by people who don’t hold medical marijuana cards or have a doctor’s prescription: That is still an obvious result of these policies. We didn’t need a study to know that would happen.
Even when marijuana was completely illegal in every state but California for medical purposes, there was still a robust demand for the plant and products derived from it on the black market because it’s something that millions of people value.
Some like the feelings of relaxation, insight, or creativity that it gives them. Others like how it improves the taste of food or the feeling of sex.
Still others rely on it desperately for pain relief, to be able to get a good night’s sleep, or to find their appetite for food while on cancer treatments that cause severe nausea.
Many families are finding a miracle in CBD oil, which isolates a chemical from marijuana that doesn’t get you high, but is saving their babies— their toddlers and small children from a severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy that causes extreme seizures.
With or without an official card or prescription, millions of Americans’ lives are improved in some way by marijuana, and when it becomes more readily available, as it has in states that have legalized it for medicinal purposes, the demand is there to meet it.
A note about the increases in marijuana “abuse” mentioned in the USA Today article— the paper quotes a health professor at Columbia University making another “Captain Obvious” statement similar to the article’s headline:
“If you increase the prevalence of users, you are going to increase the prevalence of people who have adverse consequences.”
As you could say about driving a car. As you could say about riding in planes. As you could say about falling in love. As you could say about starting a business. As you could say about… As you could say about…
If these kind of arguments are the very best that a major publication like USA Today can muster against legalizing medical marijuana, then marijuana consumers and businesses are looking great!