GALION — In a strictly, unscientific poll over the last few days, it appears that the stigma surrounding marijuana has lessened a lot since about 1975, when I first became aware of weed or pot, or ganja.
Today, at least to those responding to a recent column seeking comment about the legalization of medical marijuana — and the possible legalization of recreational marijuana some day in the future — seems to be similar to that of the stigma surrounding alcohol.
Medical marijuana is OK, . But recreational marijuana? That’s a debate that will continue for a few more years.
“I’m apposed to legalizing recreational marijuana,” said email@example.com. “Maybe it’s because I graduated from Galion High in the 1950s. But why bring down our society any more than we are already. Medical marijuana? Yes. But don’t legalize the behavior for a drug that may cause more harm.”
Readers were passionate in their responses to a column in Wednesday’s Galion Inquirer soliciting opinions on the legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio and the possible future legalization of pot for recreational use. But in large part, those that responded agreed that the legalization of medical marijuana is probably a a good thing.
“I am a medicinal marijuana patient living in Galion,” said David Hetrick. “I have used marijuana for many years, even knowing it was illegal. Why? Because I suffer from chronic pain and yes, marijuana relieves chronic pain. I found out about the penalties of illegal marijuana when I was busted and treated like a drug addict, serving probation and paying plenty of fines for having it in my home.
“I am now a legal Ohio medicinal patient, Hetrick continued. “Obtaining my medical card was not an unpleasant or hard thing to do, as long as you have one of the conditions.
“I was there the first day The Forrest opened in Sandusky waiting in line two and a half hours in the cold. The place is very nice and the staff is very knowledgeable. My first impression was nice but very expensive. I’m thinking the Black Market doesn’t have anything to worry about. I have been there three more times since and each time the experience was better. The prices will come down. The sooner the better. With more dispensaries opening the price will come down. They cultivate specific strains for specific ailments and they are getting very good at it. The stuff might be expensive but for me, I know I’m legal and won’t be arrested.
As for it to become recreational … Yes, it should be in every sense of the word, as an American right. It will become so because the states and soon the federal government will not be able to stop it. How you gonna keep them down on the farm, once they seen Paris. Thirty states are saying YES to medicinal marijuana. There might be something to it, Duh! plus the green they make from the green. $$$$$$$.
The state takes medicinal marijuana very seriously, as it is a pharmaceutical prescription and is treated as such.”
Give Ohio time. …. It will come around to the Heart of it All … Recreational.”
Bob Shroyer of Galion sees a use for it as a medicine, but knows people will abuse is, as they do alcohol and other things.
“I voted no for any use of marijuana,” Shroywer said. “However, if I were suffering with pain I would probably change my mind about the use of medical marijuana. I believe it should ONLY be dispensed with a doctors order and in pill form only. I cannot fathom the general use of marijuana, especially someone using it and driving. We have enough bad drivers on the road as it is, using cell phones, drinking, eating and other things that take away from good driving.”
Colleen Hocker Schuman also thinks medical pot is OK: “I agree 100 percent. It has many benefits!”
Ditto for Jean Bodkins — “The research has been done. The doctors also agree that medical marijuana benefits many people who have not found relief from conventional medicine. It’s time,” she said.
Lola Moore says the downside of pot is even less than the downside of alcohol.
I have smoked it and been around pot for 40 years,” Moore said. “I don’t smoke it anymore but that is my choice. I’ve seen alcohol ruin a lot of lives, but i have never seen marijuana ruin anyone’s life. I have had hundreds of friends and family that smoked pot over the years, and they all led normal productive lives. Also the myth that pot is a gateway drug is total nonsense. Also, the lie that pot is addicting, made up by people that don’t know what there talking about.
And Moore was not the only one that saw another benefit to the legalization of recreational marijuana … tax dollars.
“I think marijuana should be allowed as is alcohol or other means that persons use as a crutch when they are done from work and go home to a glass of wine or shot of whiskey … cigarettes .., or what have you, to relax from the hustle and bustle of the day.
She also sees fewer negative health issues related to marijuana.
When you run out your out, you don’t go through hard withdraw like you would alcohol, pills, meth, crack, cocaine, heroin and lord knows what else,” Moore continued. “Keep in mind that throughout the time from the 60’s to the present that if you want pot you could get it. So legalizing pot will not change much, except that all that money will stay here instead of going back to Mexico or wherever else.”
And she wonders how one crutch is can be deemed worse — or better — than another.
“How can one be used and not another,” Moore wondered. “(Marijuana) is grown out of the ground and not man-made with chemicals. … Each person should be allowed there own crutch to relax to. Each person has there own consequences to deal with. No one has right to choose for you. Yes, i believe in legalization — medically and recreational.”