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Liberals: Left of Center/First legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Washington and Colorado.


Hi.  I just read that Washington and Colorado passed a bill allowing recreational use of marajuana in small amounts.  Does that mean it goes into effect immediately, or does it have to go through another stage?  I have to admit I'm not in favor of this, even though I don't live in either of those states.  Thanks

Hello D,

I have not been one to closely follow the Federal and State laws regarding the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, though by now there are already approximately one third of States in the U.S. which have legalized the plant for strictly medical use. I've always been sympathetic to its use for medical reasons, since I've read and heard, for a few decades now, many personal discussions by patients suffering from various health problems that marijuana is an effective treatment - with far fewer, if any, side effects (save for the obvious one of "becoming high" - than standard pharmaceuticals. I've most recently heard it helps some people with depression and certain kinds of pain, in addition to helping anyone with macular degeneration and glaucoma.

One example of marijuana used as a treatment of symptoms that most of us have at least heard of would be its use in the treatment of the severe nausea many cancer patients suffer while undergoing chemotherapy - which is often required for as long as six months. I have heard these patients, myself, along with reading of their treatment of this problem with marijuana for at least two decades now.

Many patients will be given anti-nausea drugs that can cost as much as $50. for each pill. However, when those same patients are willing to use marijuana as an alternative and much less expensive treatment, marijuana is almost always reported as being 100% more effective. The only problem is that some people aren't comfortable with the side effects of marijuana, i.e. the "high" that seems to be unavoidable. Some people are also more sensitive and adverse to this one side effect then others are, and find it unpleasant, even though it occurs for a much shorter duration than the cure it offers. Another outstanding use of the plant we hear most often of is it's ability to stimulate appetite in people who have severe difficulty with illnesses that have made it chronically, almost impossible to eat.

I recommend reading more about the specific laws just now legalizing the use of marijuana as a purely "recreational" drug -- the way something like alcohol is used, though the latter being far more toxic and destructive. Marijuana will, like alcohol, also not be legally available to or tolerated when possessed or used by minors. I found this article at the link below, which should fill you in on most aspects of your question. From what I understand, most laws go into effect within no longer than days of their passage, but I'm not certain about these laws, myself.

Meanwhile, I can't help but read quite often about the strange fact that, in California, though marijuana is legal there by State law, for medical purposes, the fact that it remains Federally illegal results in continual harassment, and even in arrests and incarceration of people who legally, by State law, fill doctors' prescriptions and sell it, as well as activities carried out that lead to the destruction, by these Feds, of legal, whole marijuana farms and the small, established, legally licensed businesses set up as dispensaries. Your guess is as good as mine as to how and why this is allowed to occur at the whim of Federal Agents, and I suspect this may possibly continue in Washington, Colorado, where it's obviously now legal by State law, but still not in Federal law.

Here's the article, below, I found in a simple Google search. Good luck in your continued research.



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News, media, and documentary junkie addicted to and empassioned by political thought, writing, discussion and debate. Activist involved at local and national levels in issues concerning social justice.


Though as a younger woman most of what I did, politically, involved demonstrating and organizing demonstrations against war, nuclear power, or on behalf of Tibetans, or a Mexican neighborhood whose week-end and evening public transportation has been cut, I've grown increasingly and more seriously interested in politics with age, to the point that politics of all kinds are a passion for me. I've done a good deal of reading and research on my own, and while not having actually worked in the field of politics, the subject has always cropped up in classes I've taken - like Design History - or in work I've done - teaching English to people from all over the world. The last book that changed my entire perspective on American history, and politics, is "A Peoples' History of the United States," by Howard Zinn, a leftist historian whose groundbreaking work has even made it into American schools as textbooks for many levels in the past ten years. Other work that has edified and inspired me are books written by Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf, Noam Chomski, "The Pinky Show" video series on Youtube, and more recently, three documentaries: "The Power of Nightmares," "The Century of the Self," and "Food Inc." I've also been lucky to have always had a variety of people, often as an organized group, to discuss and debate political issues with.

Active in the Free University movement, with Peer to Peer University and others, and a member of Creative Commons.

My education in politics comes primarily from activism and all kinds of reading as a teenager during the Vietnam war up to the present day, through a handful of undergraduate history and and graduate sociology classes, and more recently from experience as an admin in a political chatroom for a year and a half and having my own political room for a shorter time. The last experience was a tremendous learning opportunity to not only be among every sort of political animal from retired union worker to right-wing survivalist alike, but to also see a spectrum of many points of grey that go unnoticed due to the polarity that devides so many Americans today. For the past three years, I've been a participant of a political discussion group that functions like a Yahoo Group, sharing email during the week of particularly interesting news or experience, and meeting for two-hour Skype group conferencing one night a week.

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