Pot provokes paranoia

J.R. Reynolds livesin Reno.

J.R. Reynolds livesin Reno.

One thing is for sure, Question 9, the marijuana initiative, is contentious.

If I had any doubts about how black and white this issue was before my public debate with District Attorney Dick Gammick, they were quickly dispelled by the time we’d finished a two-hour show on KBDB-AM, which was broadcast live about a week ago.

I swear, there were moments I felt as though I might be an alien trying vainly to communicate with earthlings. There is so much fear-mongering and misinformation thrown around by the “anti” forces that I get the feeling we are still living in the Stone Age. In this “age of reason,” I find it hard to understand how any intelligent person would continue to believe that marijuana is anything but medicinal.

We frequently hear government propagandists like Donna Shalala say that the “latest research” proves that marijuana “isn’t harmless” like everyone has been saying. This would lead one to believe that it is indeed harmful to anyone who would partake of the “evil weed.” As I tried in vain to point out to Mr. Gammick, there is no such thing as “harmless.” Children die from swallowing a harmless toy or gumball or whatever. These are tragic occurrences, but are they preventable? Only if you put the kid in a bubble and keep him in there for life perhaps.

Drinking pure water is surely harmless, and yet, a few people die every year from drinking too much water. (The body’s electrolytic balance is upset, and the heart stops beating.) In this context, compared to other substances, marijuana is clearly not dangerous, but does not mean that it is absolutely “harmless".

The unasked question: is being arrested “harmless?” Actually, it can be quite “dangerous.” What is the latest research on that?

In a perfect world, “we the people” might write legislation without all the legal verbiage that would simply say: “The people revoke, repeal and rescind all laws, statutes and regulations regarding the prohibition of marijuana and associated paraphernalia, order released all previous non-violent offenders convicted under these laws, and apologize for our stupidity.”

We have the opportunity here in Nevada to send a message to the rest of the country, that we are taking a big step toward restoring individual liberty and personal responsibility. Vote your conscience in November. But most importantly, vote!

I highly (pardon the pun) recommend a book by Dr. Mitchell Earlywine, associate professor of psychology, University of Southern California, who wrote Understanding Marijuana. If you’d like to cut through the witch-hunt rhetoric and learn something about this very useful plant, do some research on your own. Do not rely on baseless information tossed about by the establishment. Make up your own mind on facts you have gathered through your own research. You’ll be a better (and more informed) person for it.