Pubdate: Fri, 08 Apr 2005
Source: Peninsula Clarion, The (Kenai, AK)
Copyright: 2005 The Peninsula Clarion
Author: Dustin Billings
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


Senate Bill 74 versus a public opinion of 138,000 yes votes for marijuana.

All those votes, despite the incredibly cold wind and snow that was blowing 
Election Day, kept a lot of medicinal users at home because at least they 
have half a brain to not get stoned for their pain and then go driving to 
the polls. Unlike all of the pill-popping patients of the pill-happy 
doctors that thrive across Southcentral Alaska who drive to work stoned, 
drive to pick up their kids from school stoned, drive to court stoned, and 
so on.

All of it makes me want to play Tom Petty's, "Don't come around here no 
more," into Gov. Murkowski's voicemail.

To claim marijuana has addictive qualities similar to heroin is a pretty 
disreputable statement, considering the massive studies complied over the 
years concerning the addictive qualities of just the legal drug nicotine. 
The U.S. Surgeon General, the Royal Society of Canada, and, most recently, 
the Royal College of Physicians in the U.K. have concluded nicotine is more 
addictive that heroin.

Just like heroin and morphine, nicotine stimulates the human brain's 
prodution of chemicals called opiods. It also increases the dopamine levels 
in the brain, similar to that of pure methamphetamine. In fact, researchers 
in neuroscience at the University of Michigan have found a 20 to 30 percent 
alteration in these chemical flows when compared to that of nonsmokers.

In contradiction, marijuana has been found for years to be so safe that no 
confirmed deaths have ever been caused by marijuana alone. That's what 
worries these politicians I think. The theraputic implications of marijuana 
are so endless that accepting it socially amongst the general public 
through legalization would wreak havoc on the pharmaceutical industry.

First there came the agricultural revolution, then came the industrial 
revolution, and next the worst one of all which is consuming Americans 
daily, the pharmaceutical revolution. Maybe Murkowski is a big player in 
this and the cash is keeping his shoes shined and his teeth white. Who knows?

When only 5 to 10 percent of people who try smoking marijuana will become 
daily users when compared to 80 to 90 percent of cigarette smokers, I stop 
and wonder if Murkowski knows what a statistical graph even is.

Dustin Billings

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom