Sunday, February 08, 2009

Pot Laws Finally Under Attack

Today's Sunday LA Times sports section featured this article on page three. In "The Sports world goes to pot" writer Chuck Culpepper reviewed the spate of current and recent acts of "unlawful" use of marijuana in the sports world and did a more than adequate job of referencing the literature and research that would support a real change in the way the US deals with this natural substance. First, he covered the recent cases of use by athletes. Second, he reached out to reseacher Roger Roffman, a prof at the U of Washington, who has been writing and studying marijuana use over the last 40 years. Pot has a history and a confusing story.

That’s because as the debate has roiled on and Roffman has followed it, he
has detected four sides, all of which, he said, don “blinders” when regarding
the other three. Group 1 emphasizes that most adults who smoke marijuana do so occasionally and “without really any harm,” Roffman said, “and that’s a very hard thing for us to publicly acknowledge.” Group 2 stresses that “a substantial number of marijuana smokers get into real trouble” and “derail” from functionality. Group 3 considers marijuana central to life on Earth and tends to live alternatively both culturally and politically, yet manages to function. And Group 4 entails medical users, whose approval in various states – California in 1996 – has helped soften
the stigma over time.
Meanwhile though Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, says the time for the cheap joke puns maybe past. Our writer couldn't resist cheapening his own arguements with a few snipes of his own. To my mind this is one of the main reason this has gone on so long. No one takes the complaint seriously. After all, pot isn't addictive so we could just stop toking and the problem would just go away, so goes the arguement.

The writer then goes on to discuss the way the advertising world, the Kellog and Subway and Omega sponsors, have chosen to respond to this gathering storm of a situation. Finally, he takes a serious look at the real way real people through their achievements have blown the mythology about the harmfulness of this particular drug completely out of the water.

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