Letter from the editor: Legalize and realize

By NICHOLAS TRUJILLO

Among the controversial issues that clutter news outlets, I want to take the time to explore one that has gone under the radar for some, if not most.: medicinal marijuana.

When Proposition 205 was introduced, there were outcries of why the drug should be legalized in Arizona. Arguments included generating profits for the state and medicinal uses. However, Arizonans struck down the bill by a slim margin.

The main opposition came from state public safety and business leaders. According to Azcentral.com, Prop 205 will appear on the ballot if it can collect 156,042 signatures by July 5, 2018.

If placed on the ballot next year, the state could look at potential revenue from recreational and medical use. For now, sales from medical marijuana make revenue from local dispensaries.

When thinking of marijuana, people often think of the ridiculous classification that the DEA has it under and the wasted taxpayer money being spent on large sentences just for possession of the illicit drug.

According to the DEA, marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug and ranks above methamphetamine, OxyContin and cocaine. The DEA also defines Schedule 1 drugs “as substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

However, I think of the word “accepted” as a relative term. As a society, we don’t “accept” the forms of euthanasia that pre-modern Eskimo tribes practiced. We see it as murder.

Generally, Americans don’t accept eating dogs, yet the animal is a delicacy in some parts of the world, such as China, Korea and Vietnam.

So the word “accepted” has a weak connotation because accepted is a part of the mainstream ideology of a group of people.

Now, looking at the “unaccepted” part of marijuana, you have Rick Simpson’s cannabis oil, which is a mix of coconut and cannabis oils. I’m not saying he is a genius alchemist, but creating the oil that he claims cures virtually anything is pretty interesting. However, it has been going on for thousands of years.

Yet, I’m still skeptical about the oil because there is no real research about the drug. I found myself digging through pages on the web about topics related to this. Three hours were spent looking at scholarly articles about the effect cannabis oil has on cancer and other diseases.

The general consensus of what was found, excluding some outliers, was that it anecdotally is proven to cure cancer and other diseases, but doctors and the general population are still skeptical because there is not much actual research being done. Legalizing marijuana in Arizona can open doors for more research.

Cannabis might not be a panacea, but it can definitely lead researchers down a better path toward the medicines of tomorrow.

Co-Editor in ChiefNicholas Trujillo.

Filed Under: Opinion

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