I think the end of the prohibition on all forms of cannabis and the associated criminalization of these substances is past due.
Hemp: I am in favor of legalizing the agricultural growing of Hemp. It is a cash crop that would benefit our poorer northern counties that have a shorter growing season and less nutrient soils. It is a weed that grows in poor soils, is draught tolerant, and requires little or no chemical maintenance. It is also a better product than the synthetic alternative. It is an eco-friendly plant that has been grown to benefit mankind throughout our history.
Medical Marijuana: I think there is enough anecdotal, if not empirical, evidence that medical marijuana can relieve or cure several ailments or symptoms. It is now recognized as a pain suppressant and data from states that have legalized medical marijuana indicates it lowers the dependency on opioids. Talk to any veteran and they will have a personal story of someone they know who is helped by medical marijuana.
Recreational Marijuana:I think it is time to legalize recreational use, adequately regulated to protect our children and citizens. We could surely use the tax revenue for any number of activities from road construction to preventive health care. Legalization would also help reduce stress to our overburdened criminal justice system and help users’ ability to obtain jobs. Criminalization in a society where over 50% of the adult population admits to trying marijuana only erodes society’s respect for other laws.