The Pueblo West View

Letter: ‘Cannabis: Consider facts, not myths’

“Where are lines drawn? Where does common sense come in? Why aren’t full page ads on prostitution on the back of our newspaper?”

This quote from a letter to the Pueblo West View exemplifies the misperception of what ‘common sense’ entails. Fellow citizen writers addressed cannabis businesses being advertised in the Pueblo West View and health/societal concerns.

I intend to inform with goodwill and to simply address these letters.

To answer the above quote: Prostitution is illegal. ‘Lines’ are outlined in the Colorado State Constitution, Amendment 64. Common sense enters when one realizes that police time and billions of dollars is spent EACH year on the failed ‘war on drugs’, when we could instead create revenue for communities (Sources: Office of National Drug Control Policy, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, www.drugsense.org).

One of those ‘drugs’ is a non-toxic plant, Cannabis sativa (part of a genetic family with the beer plant Humulus lupulus or ‘Hops’). Cannabis was one of the most utilized plants for millennia. It kick started civilizations and the conception of our country due to its over 25,000 uses for food, fuel, fiber, medicine, recreation, national security, and environmental remediation; cannabis played a vital role in World War II (Source: Hemp for Victory, US Government, 1942).

A quote by Edmund Burke was cited in one citizen letter, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” The writer then asked the readers to ‘do something.’

Sadly, many good people did nothing, were silenced or deceived nearly 80 years ago when anti-cannabis policies began until today. Now, citizens are ‘doing something’ for America’s first billion dollar cash crop which has the ability to eliminate our deficits (Source: Popular Mechanics Magazine, February 1938).

I am reaching out my literary hand and plead to be heard: cannabis has nothing to do with ‘evil.’ This is a perception that was intentionally given to you with decades of misinformation and propaganda that still continues in media and policy today. Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug federally, which is defined as ‘no medical value.’ The publicized research of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Bob Melamede, Dr. William Courtney and thousands more prove cannabis is medicine and safe recreation. ‘Common sense’ would negate the definitions of federal law.

One writer spoke of recent stories in the media regarding cannabis influencing murders, suicide, and publically inebriated citizens. In these cases, alcohol and illegal substances and documented mental issues were also involved. Cannabis was not the causative reason these incidents happened. Regarding ER visits due to infused products, I am equally concerned; I believe more OPEN science-based conversations with youth is key to prevent this. The cannabis industry continues to gain new regulations (much more so than pharmaceuticals, tobacco and alcohol), cannabis is non-toxic and overdose is physically impossible. Despite incorrect or satire articles would lead one to believe otherwise, cannabis has never caused a fatality (Sources: US Centers for Disease Control and saferchoice.org).

Renee Cooper

Pueblo West

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