Why cannabis reformers are shy about the high
We chase marijuana’s high, and are confronted with Michigan’s new lows.
Published: April 15, 2014
“You don’t have any protections for the recreational use of marijuana there,” Gillette said, “so I’m sure there are some registered medical patients in the state of Michigan that might also use their medicine recreationally at some time, but they certainly aren’t going to say that. Unfortunately, we still live in a world where the failed drug war is ongoing. People who use something safer than alcohol or tobacco are still persecuted, arrested, jailed, fined, lose children in some cases or the right to education or the right to job. I completely understand why people in Michigan wouldn’t be screaming from the rooftops that they use marijuana recreationally.”
Gillette adds, and this is a conclusion that will likely rankle some people, medical marijuana, more or less, is recreational too. Throughout the whole “medical marijuana” revolution, people have been using cannabis that, as St. Pierre put it, “is more or less just as psychotropic as whatever is in a bong that’s being hit at the University of Michigan right now.” And that’s the Achilles heel our state’s prosecutors and sheriffs are stubbornly going after.
But, the more we thought about it, the more we asked: Doesn’t it seem like a natural conclusion that things that are good for you make you feel good? Like a jog on a brisk morning or a glass of good wine with a meal?
That was our frame of mind when we called Matt Abel, the head of Michigan’s chapter of NORML and a veteran in our state’s fight for marijuana reform. We caught him up on what we’d learned and he gave us the lowdown:
“We’re trying to rebrand it from recreational marijuana to adult-use marijuana, because it doesn’t have the connotation that recreational use does. Some people think ‘recreational’ has the tinge of ‘abuse’ to it, where they might think proper adult use of marijuana should not be prohibited. Adult use is something that goes on every day by a good percentage of people in our society that crosses all demographic groups, and, statistically, it’s shown not to cause much harm at all.”
That’s what we’d hoped to get at: adults enjoying legal adult-use marijuana that’s better for them than alcohol or tobacco, and feeling good, with no paranoid thoughts of police breaking down the door. Michigan’s backward officials be damned, that sounds terrific. Why on God’s green earth are our state officials opposed to this?
With a laugh, Abel quips, “Some people just can’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.”
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