The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Speeding on that road paved with good intentions

What is worse than speeding on that road paved with good intentions? Before you answer, read the following opinion piece by Ron Sasso in today's Rapid City Journal.

Starting with the limp, wanna-be-hip title, "

"Medical marijuana would be a downer,"

Rapid City Journal columnist and erstwhile city council candidate, Ron Sasso manages to make about several assertions about cannabis, some of which are false, some bearing a so-what truthfulness, some too funny not to share; the remaining are indecipherable.

1. Sasso sez: "Medical marijuana may be on the ballot next year. Keep in mind that is the gateway to legalization of marijuana."

Decorum Forum says (under the "too funny not to share" category): Thanks for the plug, Ron.

 2. Sasso sez: "The potency of marijuana has radically changed over the past 30 years. Growers have worked the genetics to make it far more potent."

Decorum Forum says (under the "so f*****g what?" category): Thanks for the plug, Ron. That makes it so people don't need as much cannabis to achieve the goal of using cannabis.

 3. Sasso sez: "The argument for legalization is basically hinged on the idea that marijuana is relatively safe."

Decorum Forum says (under the "so f*****g what?" category): Thanks for the plug, Ron. That's exactly what we say. And we're right. There are no known deaths in medical history from ingestion of cannabis. 

4. Sasso sez: "Marijuana has more tar than cigarettes and is unfiltered. It will cause cancer."

Decorum Forum says (under the "false" category): There is no evidence that cannabis smoke ingestion (or any other form of cannabis ingestion) causes cancer. There is evidence that cannabis might be a cancer controvertive. Click here to see Washington Post story supporting that assertion. 

5. Sasso sez: "Studies have shown that marijuana use causes long-term damage that leads to a reduction in IQ — on average, an eight-point reduction. That is a huge change in cognitive functioning. Is this what we want for our country? This could truly be the dumbing down of America."

Decorum Forum says (under the "false" category): We get all laughing-out-loud reading that paragraph from the same guy who wrote the rest of the editorial.

We mentioned good intentions up top. We don't have much patience for people who refuse to look at the evidence before they condemn others to persecution by prosecution. Ron Sasso's intentions are not at issue; I believe he believes something that is obviously not true. That makes him, at the very least, uninformed (for which there is no excuse when the subject is cannabis). There are other possibilities. He might be crazy. Or malicious. Maybe he's just plain stupid. But he has to fit one of those four characterizations. There are no other choices.

Ron Sasso's errant opinion--with no credible support--on cannabis typifies the reasoning used to have ruined the lives of tens of millions of people around the world, and to have left a swath of bodies killed by law enforcement and by the criminals created by the price-support program called "prohibition." The benefit? Cannabis is cheaper, better, and more-readily-available than at any time in the last 45 years.

There are no benefits to criminalization of the attempt to feel better. The evil consequences are plain to see.

2 comments:

Bob Newland said...

Sasso sent me an email:

Bob,

Thank you for actually going through my article and challenging my points. I have been subjected to many nameless, vicious attacks on me personally without anyone responding to the facts that I put forward in my opinion piece. So, I truly thank you. This is America and people should be able to express their opinions freely.

Now, to the meat of it...

Your first two points seem to agree with mine. I should point out on the second point that increasing the THC content also lowers the cannibidiol (CBD) amount. CBD is considered to be the therapeutic aspect of marijuana.

Your third point of no known deaths specifically from marijuana. The following link contradicts that: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/26/cannabis-deaths_n_4862290.html
I will note that there have also deaths from people using edibles, getting paranoid and jumping out of windows. However, overall there have not been many deaths directly linked to marijuana (yet).

Your fourth point, marijuana has four times the amount of tar as cigarettes and people are usually holding that smoke/toke in longer (I don't think you are disagreeing on that point---American Lung Association statistic). There is not much research out there regarding long term use and lung cancer. The largest study had only 164 smokers. Hence, my opinion says that it will be coming over time. Cigarettes were not labeled as carcinogens when they came out.

Your fifth point on the IQ drop. Well, that was a huge study in New Zealand (over 1,000 people). Here is the link: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/40/E2657.abstract

Lastly, I want to thank you for being direct and respectful in you disagreeing.

Best regards,

Ron Sasso

Anonymous said...

legalize it