David Ramos - Getty Images
David Ramos - Getty Images

Op-Ed writer Nolan Finley of the Detroit News said recently you ‘can’t put the Genie back in the bong.’ In many regards I am inclined to agree. The arguments on both sides of the emotional debate surrounding the use and future of marijuana are personal and intense, and it seems leaning ever closer to making the drug legal.

I was recently called to task for writing that marijuana is not medicine. I, for the most part stand by that comment and its intent. First of all, make no mistake that over 99% of those smoking dope aren’t doing it because it’s medically necessary. No, in fact that is precisely why states like Michigan are putting weed on the ballot in 2016, for recreation and not medicine. I was making the point in my earlier post that people need to be honest about why they are smoking dope--and it ain’t to get healthy.

Are there medical uses for marijuana? Yes, some would say. There are some indications that it can help some people with epilepsy, especially in children. There is anecdotal evidence it can help people with nausea associated with chemotherapy or other issues. It, of course, has been used for patients with glaucoma for years.

It is likely that if the question is put on the ballot, marijuana will be declared legal by Michigan voters. The federal government remains on the other side of the argument and that leaves a strange situation of legality and banking and more. I’ll explore those issues at a later date.

But let me clear, pot is not the panacea some will tell you. In the end it will be just another problem to deal with. It will not save our schools and it will not fix our roads. That could be said of plenty of other tax and spend schemes too.

And when you are considering how legal marijuana will fit into our communities think about who will get it and why. Know that smoking pot has been linked by study after study to damage teenage brains, lowering IQ’s and memory function. Pot is linked to increases in psychotic disorders and most notably schizophrenia.

There is no question that pot is a drug and like all other drugs it can and does have some very serious negative side effects on lots of people. So before you start touting its benefits you may want to read up on the downside too.

I didn’t even get into the obvious concerns over cancer, heart disease, hormonal impacts, and much more. Get the facts before you vote and not from the Bob Marley crowd.

Just sayin’.

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