It’s time to trade med cabinet for pot

March 4, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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I often refer to my grandmother’s purse as a portable pharmacy, namely because she has every over-the-counter remedy anyone would ever need tucked beneath her arm. Got a cough? She’s got cough-drops. Headache? She’s got Tylenol Tension and plenty of them.

Sometimes she’d slip me something prescribed if I complained loud enough.

Whether to alleviate pain or control chemical imbalances, both retail and prescription medications crowd our medicine cabinets as well as our daily lives.

Some of the ingredients we recognize, but others, not so much.

Moreover, each time a new medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, countless side effects accompany it.

However, as America becomes more open-minded, I’m confident that the overpopulation of pills in my grandmother’s purse might be salvaged by a special brownie — a much more exciting way to ingest medication.

On Feb. 12, Oklahoma Sen. Connie Johnson was slated to present testimony about the medicinal value of marijuana to a State Senate Committee. However, she was refused by the Chair of Public Safety Sen. Don Barrington.

Senate Bill 2116 by Johnson would “make it legal for individuals 21 and older to purchase, possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana and establish basic rules for its cultivation and sale.

“By taxing and regulating marijuana we can take a lucrative market out of the hands of criminals and drug cartels and put in the hands of tax-paying, law-abiding businesses,” Johnson said.

She said the current prohibition of marijuana prevents Oklahoma City police from frying bigger fish.

If it passes, she said, law officials “can stop arresting adults for simply using a substance less harmful than alcohol, and focus our law enforcement resources on violent crimes and real threats to public safety.”

Johnson said the state currently spends millions in jailing and policing marijuana-related offenses. However, this would not be the case if the substance were legalized — even if only for medicinal purposes.

Though Johnson’s bill wasn’t considered, I personally feel that legalizing marijuana is a step in the right direction for Oklahoma.

Medical marijuana can be used as an appetite modulator, a muscle relaxant and relieves nausea associated with chemotherapy, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If my grandmother could smoke a joint rather than swallow a pill, she’d retain the same health benefits with half the side effects of any prescription or over-the-counter medication.

That said, she wouldn’t have a problem straying from the substance if need be, as marijuana has less-addictive qualities than other forms of medicine.

I doubt Oklahoma will shed its conservative viewpoints any time soon, but tax revenues, job production, as well as population increase all await should marijuana be legalized.

I’d advise that anyone with an opposing viewpoint stop being so mean and start going green.

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