Two weeks ago Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the repeal of policy put into effect during the Obama administration that protected legalized marijuana programs from federal prosecution.
Georgia Baptists would generally celebrate Sessions’ position on marijuana and have expressed in a strong resolution their opposition to any legislation that would authorize the cultivation of marijuana in the state and any legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana or the further legalization of any drugs, including marijuana.
Contrariwise, Georgia lawmakers have slowly, but systematically approved legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the state, and Representative Allen Peake seems to be intent on getting legislation passed that would provide for the growing of marijuana in Georgia. He has repeatedly expressed concern that there is no in-state access to the marijuana/cannabis oil.
So, Peake is on a crusade to get additional marijuana legislation passed, because he wants a law that will permit in-state cultivation and distribution of the substance. He has already submitted two pieces of legislation for 2018 that would make marijuana more readily available in Georgia. One bill would provide for in-state cultivation and distribution; the second bill would allow certain institutions of higher education in Georgia to bid for the right to cultivate and distribute the substance.
From 1911 to 1933 marijuana was banned and declared a narcotic in many states. In fact, by 1933 twenty-nine states criminalized marijuana/cannabis.
Forty years later the decriminalization of marijuana began when Oregon declared that cannabis could no longer be declared an illegal substance.
By 1996 medical marijuana was legalized in California. Now, there are 29 states and the District of Columbia with some kind of law permitting the use of medical marijuana.
In 2012 Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age and older. There are now eight states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational marijuana. Every state that has legalized recreational marijuana started by legalizing medical marijuana first.
In 2017 Atlanta decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of cannabis via unanimous City Council vote. It does not take a Rhodes Scholar to see where the proponents of legalizing medical marijuana are trying to take us.
I would like to give Representative Peake, a fellow Georgia Baptist, the benefit of the doubt when he declares that he has no intention of pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana. But, he will have little influence over what future legislators will do regarding the liberalization of marijuana laws.
It is obvious, however, that incremental steps are being taken to open the door to the sale of recreational marijuana. First, the drug is made available to a limited number of people suffering from specific illnesses. Then, the number of illnesses included in the original bill is expanded to include more illnesses.
Now there is a bill to allow for the cultivation and distribution of the product in the state. According to Georgia Health News, a second bill would authorize the state’s academic medical centers to grow the marijuana and process the derivatives for use in their research. Georgia has four such academic medical centers which could fit the description outlined in the bill: Mercer University in Macon, Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Emory University in Atlanta, and Georgia Regents University in Augusta.
Melia Robinson writing for Business Insider, declares, “The legal weed market is growing as fast as broadband internet in the 2000s. The North American marijuana market posted $6.7 billion in revenue in 2016, up 30% from the year before. It is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25% through 2021, when the North American market is expected to top $20.2 billion.”
Growing marijuana is bad for the ecology and should incur the wrath of every environmentalist and every member of the Sierra Club.
However, marijuana evokes more grave concerns than its impact upon the environment. Bob Enyart of Real Science Radio has assimilated a vast amount of verified facts about marijuana. For example, Enyart provides the research sources that indicate that the use of marijuana produces hallucinations, paranoia, and schizophrenia. It also damages blood vessels, damages the nerves that connect your retinas to your visual cortex, and lowers one’s IQ.
Enyart also reports that marijuana impairs driving “just like alcohol,” increases the likelihood of attempted suicide, opens the door for the cancer virus, and causes learning and memory impairments. Furthermore, pot smokers are four times more likely to have a heart attack. See Enyart’s reports here.
Think about the incremental legalization of alcohol in America. On January 16, 1920 a generation-long effort to dismantle the U.S. liquor industry was achieved when the Eighteenth Amendment enforcing prohibition went into effect. Before prohibition, Americans 15 years old and above consumed an estimated 2.56 gallons of alcohol per capita. During prohibition Americans drank less than 40 percent of what they had consumed prior to the implementation of the 18th Amendment.1
The availability of the demonic beverage prior to and after the era of prohibition allowed for increased consumption. The same is bound to happen as marijuana becomes more accessible.
On March 33, 1935 Governor Eugene Talmadge signed the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which repealed earlier prohibition statues and provided for the regulation and licensing of liquor and other distilled spirits.
Over the years the places that can sell alcoholic beverages has been expanded, the hours that “booze” can be sold has increased, and the age of those who are permitted to purchase beer and wine has been lowered. Eventually, Sunday sales were allowed and more recently there has been a “Brunch Bill” designed to permit the sale of alcoholic beverages during worship hours on Sunday morning.
I predict that the legalization of marijuana will follow the same course. First, it is a curse. Then it’s a supposed balm to those who are sick. Then it becomes a recreational drug providing a promised panacea.
The legalization of marijuana is nothing more than (1) a ruse to exploit the vulnerable, (2) the promise of a remedy, but with more side affects than solutions, (3) a clever plan to pad the pockets of the purveyors of the “weed”, and (4) a sure bet to lead our society one step closer to perdition.
- Alcohol and Drugs in North America: a Historical Encyclopedia, edited by David M. Fahey and Jon S. Miller