Cannabis in America
Welfare Weed – Let the Lazy Be Lazier
The Berkley City Council in California has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring pot dispensaries donate 2 percent of their product to “patients” making under $32,000 a year. A single person is eligible for this “welfare weed” if they make $32,000 or under, but if that person has a family, the family income has to be $46,000 or under. This ordinance will go into effect in August 2015, but I imagine there will be some pushback over the next year about whether this should actually go into effect or not. I mean really, allowing free weed to those already on welfare? We all might as well quit our jobs or take on low-paying jobs and wait for our handouts. This is getting a little bit ridiculous. How many people in Berkley actually need free weed!?!
There are only three licensed dispensaries in the Berkley city limits and one of those dispensaries, House of Compassion, claims they already had:
[A] program in place that allocated a pound of marijuana for giveaway each week. The pound is broken up into 3.5-gram parcels and distributed on Mondays to anyone who can prove that they are on welfare (using an EBT card or other form of proof) and have been certified to use medical marijuana.
So why the need to create an ordinance if one location already has this program and there are only three dispensaries in the city? I don’t feel right about the reasoning behind this ordinance or the idea that marijuana should be free to anyone. And to be honest, I don’t think it should be legalized.
I don’t believe that every medical marijuana cardholder is someone who is genuinely sick or needing it for medicinal purposes. Back in 2011, the top three reasons physicians gave for recommending medical marijuana were “back/spine/neck pain” at 31 percent, “sleep disorders” at 16 percent and “anxiety/depression” at 13 percent. That is a total of 60 percent. SIXTY PERCENT! Now, I understand that many of these patients probably went through a very frustrating period of trial and error with other medical remedies, like pills, and nothing worked. But realistically how many of these “patients” were telling the truth? I understand, for the most part, the benefits of medical marijuana for some, but not everyone that has an ailment. I get the need for medical marijuana for people diagnosed with cancer or HIV/AIDS–those are diseases that can really take a toll on your body. But the “I need pot because I’m depressed” thing doesn’t sit well with me. Anyone can claim they are depressed or anxious or have certain levels of pain when in reality they don’t. Symptoms can be faked and I know people who have done so, which is why I am so cynical about the whole thing.
My biggest issue with the Berkley City Council is that they basically have said that if you need pot and are on welfare you might as well get it for free. They are allowing the lazy to be even lazier.
In Texas, the Texas Senate passed a bill last year that approved drug testing of welfare applicants so I can’t imagine the ideals of the Berkley City Council will breach the Texas boarder anytime soon. Which is great. Legalizing marijuana is probably one of the most reckless things a state can do. I love the fact that the Texas Senate allows for drug testing and if someone fails that drug test three times, no more welfare for them! “Taxpayer money should not be used to subsidize someone’s drug habit,” read a statement made by Texas State Sen. Jane Nelson, (R-Flower Mound.) I could not agree more!
I’ve seen the functioning pothead who will smoke a blunt everyday but still be able to go to work and act like a contributing member of society. I’ve seen the pothead who will sit at home, smoke out of their glass pipe in front of the computer and play mindless video games all day long, contributing nothing to their own lives or to society. I also recently had a friend tell me that she wished her husband would stop smoking pot but she recognizes that if he doesn’t smoke his four or five blunts throughout the day he turns into a completely different person, so she accepts his decision to smoke weed everyday, all day long. Dependence. Addiction. Altered mood. These are things that marijuana does to a person and it isn’t something that we should condone.
Marijuana’s second hand smoke is said to be very dangerous to children and pregnant women. Obviously there isn’t a whole lot of testing that has been done on the subject because of the dangers but there have been a few and the results appear to be compelling. According to studies, just like any other illicit drug, marijuana and secondhand marijuana smoke can cause premature labor, low birth weights and even neurological damage. There are people reckless enough out there that will disregard warnings and expose their loved ones to the second hand effects of marijuana. This short, but very interesting and to the point, article really brings to light what can happen to young children that are exposed to it in the womb or through second hand smoke.
Now I am not a believer in the “marijuana is a gateway drug to other drugs” idea–I think it is completely inaccurate–but I do think that allowing our country to accept an illegal drug like marijuana simply opens the door to other illegal drugs like opiates. At one point opiates were used like Tylenol is today. We should not revert back to the days of not knowing just to appease the drug users of the world; drugs are illegal for a reason. They do more harm than good.
Allison Dawson (@AllyD528) Born in Germany, raised in Mississippi and Texas. Graduate of Texas Tech University and Arizona State University. Currently dedicating her life to studying for the LSAT. Twitter junkie. Conservative.
Featured Image Courtesy of [Ian Sane via Flickr]