Our readers speak: Ryan Lemire - Clearing the smoke
To the Editor:
I had to clear some things up for the many people, I believe, are being or have been misinformed about cannabis and are living in the St. John Valley area. First, a little about me. I’m 28, I have 3 beautiful daughters, a beautiful fiance and many adorable animals. In 2008 I was in a car accident. It put me out of work for 3 months and I needed physical therapy to get back to work. I went on for a few years with dull but increasing pain and the everyday stress that came with sleeping less and having far less mobility. This continued until it began affecting my life to the point where I had to seek treatment. I refused to use opiates (Oxycodone, Hydrocodone), which they tried to prescribe to me, I knew a number of people addicted and overdosed from using opiates. I explored alternative options. I am now a full time student at UMFK. I have volunteered my time at CHIPPY Center for Learning and as a referee and coach with AYBL Boys Basketball. I am one year away from graduating with a bachelors degree in Computer Science with a minor in Political Science. I am a legal medical marijuana patient, and I live right here in Fort Kent.
Marijuana, or Cannabis, is a plant containing a psychoactive chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in its leaves, buds and flowers. It also contains many other ingredients, such as CBD, the cancer curing molecule according to www.cancer.gov, and Rick Simpson from www.phoenixtears.ca. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with 42% of American adults reporting that they have used it. (http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/10-facts-about-marijuana)
I believe Maine should legalize this plant and begin taxing it like cigarettes and alcohol and begin saving money by not having people incarcerated for marijuana. At the same time creating jobs from farming, to distribution, and sales and regulations. Marijuana is backed by many successful, motivated and intelligent people like Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Michael Phelps, Barack Obama, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Montel Williams, Stephen King, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Newt Gingrich, Jon Stewart, Sarah Palin, Al Gore, Harrison Ford, David Letterman, Robin Williams and Tommy Chong, who recently cured his prostate cancer by using hemp oil and hemp oil alone, to name a few, have openly smoked marijuana. Many studies performed over 20 or more years are now showing distinct contradictory evidence that makes the governments claims about marijuana apparently false.
According to www.norml.org
“Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use.” Additionally, the same website states “Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 853,000 individuals per year -- far more than the total number of arrestees for all violent crimes combined, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault”
According to a recent Gallop Poll, “A record-high 52% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. 45% say marijuana use should remain illegal. There has been 21.5 million arrests for marijuana since 1970. [FBI Uniform Crime Reports 1970-2010] With 13 million coming since just since 1995. Most marijuana users never use any other drug. Also, another thing you may hear is that, most people smoke marijuana all the time, such as, every day. This is not true. The fact is, According to a federal Institute of Medicine study in 1999, there are fewer than 10 percent of those who try marijuana ever meet the criteria for dependency. With 32 percent of tobacco users and 15 percent of alcohol users.
Also noted are the health benefits from using cannabis. Despite the debate about the medical usage and therapeutic benefits of marijuana, or cannabinoids, there are more studies now than ever. Recently, doctors have recommended juicing the raw cannabis plant to reap the many benefits the plant has to offer. When juiced, the THC, the psychoactive ingredient, isn't active, it only becomes psychoactive when heated and smoked. So to juice cannabis, you would be getting all the healthy benefits, such as the many amino acids and omega fats and CBD and CBC, that's beneficial in curing cancers of all types, regulating diabetes, Crohns, insomnia, stress and more. Without “getting high”. According to The National Cancer Institute, THC and CBD reduce cancerous tumors by over 60 percent in just weeks, and provide proof that we are curing cancers with cannabis right now.
We need jobs and the state needs revenue. A recently introduced bill, to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol, An Act to Legalize and Tax Marijuana, HP1067-LD145, was introduced in January to the Maine Legislature. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland, would make major changes in Maine’s drug law, making possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana legal and imposing a tax of $50 per ounce for people 21 and over. It was referred to the Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, and should make it’s way to referendum in the fall. Recently the bill gained 35 co-sponsors, none of which were from Aroostook county.
Most residents I have spoken with didn't even know the bill existed. Let’s face it, Maine could be voting to legalize marijuana in November of this year. This is why it is important to learn the real facts about this natural herb, and put to rest the myths.
Honestly, I think enough is enough. If you personally do not like marijuana,, then simply do not buy it. Just as I do not drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, nor do I think using either of those things is OK, I don't go around telling people that they shouldn't, because what they chose to do is up to them, this is the United States of America. Land of the free. Next time I talk about Industrial Hemp.
Thanks for your support!
THIS WEEK'S POLL
- The Fiddlehead Focus Business Directory
3 hours 52 min ago
6 days 8 min ago
6 days 17 min ago
- Bob's new car....
6 days 2 hours ago
- Robert's Story.
6 days 12 hours ago
- The Mange Moose
1 week 5 days ago
- MooseShack Too
1 week 6 days ago
- Moose Du Jour
2 weeks 22 hours ago
2 weeks 3 days ago
2 weeks 3 days ago