Opinion column: Marijuana won’t save the U.S. economy


The band wagon is overloaded with politicians and people that actually believe legalizing recreational marijuana is the answer to poverty, the golden ticket to funding education, and the Holy Grail of government woes. How about growing and selling pot to bankroll the Social Security, social programs, and healthcare? We can pay off our zillion dollar national deficit with sales from the wacky weed. Shazam! Pot parades for saving the planet. Instead of politicians promising “A Chicken in Every Pot,” there will be “Cannabis in Every Airtight Container,” or “Pot in Every Pot.”

“The legalization of cannabis has significant implications for state economies, as well as the national economy. The industry totaled more than $8 billion in sales in 2017, with sales estimated to reach $11 billion this year and $23 billion by 2022. There were more than 9,000 active licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S. in 2017, with the industry employing more than 120,000 people.” Visit www.jec.senate.gov.

Instead of holiday fruitcake, the stores will sell merry marijuana brownies, pumpkin pot pie, and cannabis flavored eggnog. Hide the cannabis candy canes and stoner snacks from the kids. And no cannabis-infused cookies for grandma. But try the new reefer recipes for Christmas dinner.

What are the signs of the negative effects of marijuana edibles? Psychotic episodes, hallucinations, paranoia, panic attacks, and impaired motor ability. Visit www.justthinktwice.gov.

Will parents use grocery money to buy weed instead of food? What will consumers give up to consume weed? Will teens have easier access? Spend your cash on a cannabis stash—it’s the America way. But please make a bud budget. And don’t forget to store some cannabis in your tornado shelter, but check the heat and humanity to protect the precious pot from mold and mildew.

“What about the costs, and is there anything that we can learn from other states that have legalized marijuana? Lessons learned in Colorado and other states that have adopted this policy suggest there will also be both economic and social costs. The common lessons learned include an increase in the heavy use of marijuana and dependence, decline in academic outcomes for college students, and the increase in cannabis-related driving accidents.” Read more at www.news.camden.rutgers.edu.

Instead of Mothers Against Drunk Drinking (MADD), we’ll have Mothers Against High Driving. Parents do not want their kids to be members of the School Stoner’s Club or the Lack of Motivation League. “My kid dropped out of college to smoke weed all day. I’m so proud.”

Will magical marijuana save humanity from physical pain? Well, not save, but temporary dull it. Will the supply and demand of medical marijuana make mega millionaires? It’s good to make a profit from people’s pain. Right?

Tobacco cigarettes and marijuana—humans continue to seek mood-altering chemicals to sooth the brain and escape reality. Humans chase the buzz— whatever their buzz of choice may be. Let’s get high, spaced out, goofy. It’s instant gratification. And addiction requires money and time. Look into the future and what will you see? Lung cancer—death by weed addiction. Think twice before smoking your vice. The crystal ball predicts a long list of stoners waiting for lung transplants. The push for cannabis legalization has been coined “big tobacco 2.0” which makes sense for people using common sense.

The American Psychiatric Association position statement on marijuana as medicine states: “There is no current scientific evidence that marijuana is in any way beneficial for the treatment of any psychiatric disorder. In contrast, current evidence supports, at minimum, a strong association of cannabis use with the onset of psychiatric disorders. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to harm, given the effects of cannabis on neurological development.” So, will legalization of marijuana increase healthcare costs?

Why can’t humans tolerate mood changes and a range of feelings. Happy is a feeling—not a state of being. Chasing the “happy train” is futile. You will never catch it. Fueling your purpose with passion is the spice of life—not marijuana.

Many states are chasing a pot pipe dream. Will legalization of marijuana save the U.S. economy? Of course not. The bigger the boost—the bigger the boom from the fallout.

Oh, did you hear? Wille Nelson gave up weed due to health concerns.

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Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.

Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. Contact her at melissamcolumnist@gmail.com.