The Truth About Cannabis Reform
Cannabis is undoubtedly the hot new thing in healthcare reform. With cannabis reform in 2023 looking more promising yet, this "herbal remedy" has come a long way and looks to go a whole lot further. It's almost as if it's a wonder drug.
With the rate at which medical marijuana is becoming legal, one would think it was the cure to cancer or perhaps the common cold. Legal in 37 states, cannabis can treat nausea, sleeping problems, muscle spasms, and pain. This makes it great for treating side effects, especially with chemotherapy. My book The Great Stupidity is a play on America's intellectually and morally bankrupt response to the pandemic, but frankly, the title works here too. To buy the book, just check out the Andy Lazrisonline fiction bookstore.
I've been practicing medicine for over two decades, and if you shop Health Care System related books, you'll find that my opinion on the industry is none too friendly. While I care deeply about treating the ailing and advancing our ability to do so, I can say categorically that we doctors, at least the ones who follow the law, aren't in the business of saving lives. The medical system has now become so convoluted and policed, with decisions often outsourced to those who can afford them, that it's hard to say exactly what it is that we doctors do, apart from generating medical bills.
Why Is Medical Marijuana A Hot Topic Now?
The reforms we've been seeing for the last twenty years kicked off in 1996 when California legalized the medical use of cannabis. Very very slowly, others followed. Then in 2012, Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational use of Marijuana. Today under the hip new presidency of Biden and his millennial-friendly ways, we saw, on December 5th, 2022, that the health secretary shared the latest in legal drugs at precisely 4:20 pm.
This earned much adoration from Twitter users far and wide, as 420 is an homage to the culture surrounding cannabis for generations. That is, a secret, under-wraps, encoded culture. As recently as 2006, simply being found to be carrying marijuana would likely lead to jail time.
Today it's all good because the science, the research, and all the experts with Twitter accounts have stated that it's all good. As a result, you'll likely have several provocative and thorough options if you go to purchase non-fiction book in 2023 about how there's nothing at all wrong with what was formerly a criminal activity.
The vilification of reefer has been growing for far longer than its recent upsurge in popularity. With bills and acts, individuals have been prosecuted simply for being involved with the same drug that you can today buy at a dispensary. It's also entirely senseless. Billions of dollars were spent in the late 1900s to incarcerate drug users, but almost exclusively, lower-income users.
The front-running argument today for this is that the all-natural remedy is far less harmful than alcohol to the human body and, especially when prescribed by a physician, does more good than harm. However, if you visit a non-fiction book online store and browse for a history book, it's apparent that this drug that is now harmless has been deeply criminalized. It's almost as if healthcare reform doesn't make any sense at all.
If science says that there's nothing wrong with the evil reefer, then why are policymakers still exploring the ideas? Especially when the alcohol industry, something that could actually be linked to the harm of the American people, is a booming industry worth over $261 billion. 140,000 deaths occur annually in the country due to alcohol consumption, but still, the laws surrounding it are lax.
News pieces as early as 2015 state that cannabis is less harmful than liquor and cigarettes, and somehow the debate continues. It seems simple because it is. If a substance is dangerous and poses harm to society, then, of course, it should be a concern, and if not, then why place such strict restrictions?
However, in the lovely United States of America, The Land Of The Free, it's even simpler still.
Only Racism Can Win The War On Drugs
It's no secret that the criminalization of drugs, addictive or not, has been executed primarily in lower-income communities. Be it heroin, cocaine, or pills—there's been more and more research every year to show that imprisonment is extremely counterproductive to a healthier society. Addicts need treatment, not penalization, and drug dependency can be classed as an ailment.
However, people found guilty of substance abuse need extreme privilege to seek the treatments that can prevent it by paying an expensive rehabilitation facility to let them ride horses (equine therapy) so that they no longer need drugs. The average citizen couldn't imagine doing the same, and for some inexplicable reasons, this ailment with physical and psychological symptoms isn't something you can rush to the ER for.
For decades, anti-drug laws have been a tool of institutionalized racism. President Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971 when he upsized everything from mandatory criminal sentences to federal agencies specializing in drug control.
He also passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, categorizing drugs based on their potential for addiction and medical applications. Then came Reagan in 1981, adding to the number of people who were incarcerated for nonviolent drug-related offenses. This was a major part of his identity as a politician. Keeping American citizens safe from what Nixon called, "public enemy number 1" by locking them up to die imprisoned.
Neither ever found the time to shop Health Benefits related books.
It's been admitted by John Ehrlichman, Nixon's right-hand man, that this was a cleverly designed way to attack "hippies" (the liberal and the left) and African Americans. In the histories, you'll find that very few, virtually no upper-class, right-wing WASPs were prosecuted for drug-related crimes, although they weren't innocent of them.
So cannabis became the scapegoat and the ideal access point because it was highly common, and it was granted a spot in Schedule 1, according to Nixon's system. This is in the same category as heroin.
While in the era of the great political illusionists, a spirited speech was all it took to convince the masses of whatever, we today have masses who actually have access to plenty of information, and they know beyond a doubt that heroin and marijuana are not the same. It seems like the pressure of logical thinkers and scientists has finally had the desired effect, but that's not quite it.
These pressures have been there for a while, and while they may have grown, this is hardly the natural course running ahead to the cannabis reforms that 2023 promises.
What's So Great About Legal Marijuana?
Medicinal and recreational marijuana has been edging toward legality in several states, and they've also been edging toward a very profitable market for the American capitalist. In 2022, New Jersey, Montana, Arizona, and South Dakota moved to okay the use of recreational cannabis. Arizona was then fortunate enough to collect more than $284 million of tax revenue since its legalization measures succeeded.
It's true—economic benefits like investment opportunities and job growth are major motivators, which means businesses are incentivized to push for legalization.
Since November 2022, 21 states have allowed recreational use, while 37 allow medically regulated use. While this has been slow in the making, it's worth noting that the tax revenue collected in 2021 was more than double what was collected in 2019. However, certain states, or rather certain politicians, still refuse, with their heads still filled with Nixon's categorization.
Legalization also promises to spare the country and taxpayers some pretty hefty costs, which is no small consideration, considering that the world over is experiencing an affordability crisis. Billions of dollars, approximately 3.6, are spent every year on federally dealing with individuals who had the misfortune of being caught with weed.
If there was national legalization, everything from court costs to prison would drop considerably. In an ideal world, there might even be enough money saved for the government to redirect it toward getting help for people dependent on drugs. However, that makes far too much sense to become a reality.
The history of America is a true disgrace sometimes, especially where healthcare is concerned. Even the most dystopian medical fiction books online don't dip quite as low as policymakers have in reality. Then again, seeing the problems through a fictional lens can help. Check out my Historical Fiction book online by me, Andy Lazris! My works include 3D fictional books like The Geriatrics Vengeance Club, and an epic Jewish history book called The Adventures of Yadel the Dreidel.
If medical books aren't your thing, then you might love these fiction books: Three Brothers from Virginia is a Civil War book, and January 6th and the Millenial Hordeis a modern-day thriller that dares to ask the question: what if?