Marijuana: Inroad drug makes Golden Triangle rich.
Is “Reefer Madness” a legitimate defense for the Colorado man that shot his wife in the head after eating “pot candy”? The Defense will claim that the defendant was non compos mentis. But how could that be – 52% of Americans now believe that marijuana should be a legal substance? Perhaps the defendant had an impulse to kill his wife and ate the pot candy in the hope that its medicinal effect would ameliorate his homicidal impulse. It failed! The prosecution could state that it was not “Reefer Madness” from a joint but “pot candy” – not exactly the kind of stuff you would find in Grandma’s cookie jar.
Ever since the days of the “Yellow Submarine” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” there has been a continuous push to promote the acceptance of marijuana as being as safe as or better than alcohol. The assumption that marijuana usage will displace alcohol is not supported by data. Alcohol consumption has been increasing continuously along with marijuana use, thereby compounding the social nightmare. The general public appears oblivious to the toxic pharmacology of THC and related compounds. The most recent studies at Northwestern University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School describe the neural pathology and abnormal brain structure resulting from the usage of marijuana by those under age 30. Law enforcement officials, either knowingly or unwittingly, have been a part of this propaganda by continuously labeling DUI incidents as being “drug or alcohol” when clearly in many cases absolutely no alcohol was present. This leaves one with the impression that marijuana, cocaine, meth, and heroin are no different than our socially and legally accepted alcohol. This assumption is simply a case of the wolf disguising himself in sheep’s clothing.
The Golden Triangle – the intersection of the three Southeast Asian countries of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos –can soon look forward to being the Platinum Triangle based on rapidly escalating poppy (opium) production. This region, that also manufactures methamphetamine as a side venture, can look forward to overtaking the major producer of opium in the world – Afghanistan. During one of the longest wars in the United States history, Afghan poppy production has dramatically increased according to the UN Offices on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). While we have sustained 2,178 military deaths in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban, the innocent poppy has destroyed more lives and families than the Taliban on their most successful incursions.
The question we ask during the Easter season is: “Are we as a nation in the process of crucifying ourselves? Without a market these scourges would wither away.”
The time is long past to put cannabis and poppies in their proper place in the ecosystem. Cannabis for hemp (rope) and poppies for the seeds they produce for the wonderful poppy seed rolls we enjoy at Easter and other special occasions.
Charles E. Reier MD
Rebecca A. Reier RN CRNA