We have felt that for a long time that cannabis is one instance where a little federal involvement would not be a bad thing. Before you get all up in our kool-aid about how horrible the federal gubmint is, hang on, we have our reasons.
Let’s start with the whole ‘medical’ thing. There are many of us who have found exceptional amounts of help from medical cannabis, only to go back to find that the local dispensary is out of our brand the very next day. Or worse, what we thought we were getting as the same strain at a dispensary right down the road is VERY different. With federal oversight, we could stop the insanity of ‘wild west’ mixing of strains, naming conventions, overdoing the genetics and we could find some consistency.
Federal oversight would get rid of this ‘cash only’ craziness that has made being in the marijuana trade a very dangerous one and we could get medication with our credit card when we are cash strapped rather than having to wait until we have money in hand. If we had to do that at the pharmacy, the world would be a very different place (with many sick folks sitting at home waiting for checks to clear).
There would be funding for research, research grants would be flowing for universities who study the effects of marijuana and it would provide for big studies on what terpenes do and do not do for cannabis. More would be known about how different components of the marijuana plant aid in different illnesses and therapies. So many diseases could be cured with cannabis (which is why there is no federal program and it is still a Schedule 1 drug: a lot of drug companies would lose money, many insurance providers would disappear). It would open up marijuana’s usefulness and the pharma industry would melt like the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz. Can’t say you’d be sorry to see that happen.
But where the federal government could really shine would be on descriptions and labelling. Sure, they’d argue on dumb stuff, but we would see consistency across state lines, national seed banks and real medical guidelines on what each strain does, what they offer and side effects could be governed by one overall body.
Buyers would know what the chemical composition of each seed is before they planted their own, federal ag guidelines could drive what constitutes ‘organics’, there would be less mislabeling, more control of dosing and all these proprietary strains would be slowed down. What we would ultimately hope for is that medical marijuana would be tax deductible (at least in part) like other medications are today. Imagine being able to write off all your meds on your taxes! Better still, imagine being able to buy your MMJ for $10 with your prescription card. Why is it so much money and cash only?
The downside: We all know there is a cost to having the feds in our business, so nothing comes free. Sure, we would have a federal excise tax, but when you figure out the TRILLIONS we’ve spent to lose the war on drugs with the only solution being incarceration for marijuana users, there doesn’t seem to be a downside to federal legalization with proper education programs.
Oddly, Portugal had one of the toughest drug criminalization programs in the world at one time, but they did away with the entire thing to legalize ALL drugs in 2000. They instead invested in rehabilitation, education and reinvested in community-based programs that focused on treatment for those who wanted to stop using. What they got was a program that exceeded their best wildest expectations. Kids did not start abusing drugs, addicts did not get worse, crime did not increase, and most addicts did not continue to use. Portugal has changed their criminal justice system to one where they have invested in education for low income children in areas of poverty instead of prisons. Imagine how Oklahoma could benefit from a program like this.