Coastal Voices: Another anti-cannabis view

By Dale Bohling June 15, 2011 11:00 pm

In his June 4 Coastal Voices piece (“The case for cannabis”), Robert DeRego of City Collective critiqued  Roger Gitlin’s “Say No To Marijuana” Coastal Voices article (May 31). I’m afraid DeRego fails to make his case in a number of areas.

His first failure is in attempting to connect the Tea Party to his liberal drug views. While not  speaking for the Tea Party movement, I know enough about both subjects to know they are not compatible. Tea Party members  hold disparate views  on a  variety of topics, but the legalization  of drugs is decidedly not one of them.

Whether or not Mr. DeRego is a bona fide member of the Tea Party is an unimportant  point. A number of politicians on Capitol Hill call themselves Catholic while supporting abortion and homosexuality. Anyone can claim to be anything while eschewing any particular socio/political view, the world cares not. It is the validity of the  expressed view that matters, and Mr. De Rego’s view of the world  indicates to me that he is seeing reality through a purple haze.

There does seem to be a dearth of research on the subject of cannabis being a gateway drug. Common sense should tell one that by avoiding the drug cannabis in the first place the question would be rendered moot. Those thrill-seekers and societal rebels who are looking for something risque  are the very ones that will eventually seek out more exotic brews after pot becomes “old hat.”

With the adoption of cannabis as remediation of pain for the medical cornucopia of diseases, a confusing set of signals has resulted in a disarray of enforcement priorities for law enforcement-state/local vs. federal agencies.

In the interest of consistency and clarity it seems to me that states should be the determinants of societal norms within their given boundaries with the exception of the movement of drugs from out of country and between states, in which case(s) federal law has the obligation to provide the states with security as provided by the Constitution and stop any flow of illicit drugs between states.

As to the question of the merits of cannabis use, why should they be extended to the public-at-large? Mr. DeRego argues strongly for medical usage of the plant —okay, if it helps your malady fine. However, it needs to end there. He cannot use that excuse for a wanton abuse of the drug — that is a whole ’nuther argument.

He does seem to want it both ways as he launches into a “parents teach your children” anthem and proceeds to lecture on responsible parenting. What about the role model Mr. DeRego? One  cannot sit around sucking pot into your lungs and expect your children not to learn lifelong lessons from observing that kind of example.

Why not simply use THC laced tablets? Why is smoking it such an important element of the remediation process? The deep  and hot retained draught of the weed has got to be a problem to the sensitive tissue of the lungs.

For those who will smoke the stuff come what may, I’m sure the fact that cannabis is more carcinogenic to begin with than tobacco, even taking into consideration that tobacco smokers smoke more frequently, will not matter one whit.

I find it troublesome to think that the persons who use cannabis for medical pain relief may very possibly drive a car within a period of time before the high wears off. Note that tobacco does not impede judgment and coordination. Cannabis use puts other drivers at risk in today’s “cranked-up” lifestyle, along with alcohol-impaired drivers and text-messaging drivers.

The last thing we need is more impaired drivers on the road.

 Dale L.Bohling is a Crescent City resident.