Dr. Sanjay Gupta has announced that he has changed his mind regarding medical marijuana. After years of being against medical marijuana, he is now for it. However; some people do not like this idea. According to a USA Today article, “Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse,” isn’t thrilled about this. She believes that legalizing another drug would be harmful to society, because “If you look at the data, the costs associated with drugs in our country, which are gigantic, are driven mostly by legal drugs because they’re so accessible.”
I think she’s a little off base. The costs of drugs in this country are “gigantic” to use her word, but it isn’t because “they’re so accessible”. Now, I don’t know Nora Volkow, but totally based on her statement, I’m thinking she didn’t pay attention in economic classes. More accessibility means less cost, not more. Drug costs are up because of the drug manufacturers, not because of their accessibility.
Manufacturing and development of new drugs and patent protection laws are two of the major factors that influence drug spending. Drug manufacturers increase drugs costs to try to recoup the often significant outlays in research and development costs for drugs that make it to the market as well as those that do not enter the marketplace.
Kaiser Family Foundation
Prescription Drug Costs
With no offense to Dr. Volkow, she is coming at this idea from the side of drug addiction. She’s worried about the next person who becomes addicted. I understand that, but the idea of medical marijuana isn’t to cure an addiction. There are serious medical conditions that can be helped by medical marijuana and I believe that this outweighs any harmful affect there might be in society.
In my wildest dreams, I never thought this day would come. Today, while reading the latest Newsweek magazine, I learned the Sarah Palin and I actually agree on something. Before I tell you just what it is, I want you to ponder that for a moment. If Sarah and I can agree on something, then it must be something that should be done. If two polar opposites are on the same side, something good should come out of it.
I know, you’re wondering, what the heck could it possibly be?
Pot. We agree on pot.
On page 20 of the Newsweek dated June 28 & July 5, Sarah Palin is quoted as saying, “If somebody’s gonna smoke a joint n their house and not do anybody any harm, then perhaps there are other things our cops should be looking at.”
It is unfortunate that I don’t know when she said or what the context of the statement was or know what else she said. I wish I did. But, what I do know is she’s right – mark that on your calendars, I said Sarah Palin is right (but only on this particular instance).
We spend billions of dollars patrolling our borders, not only for illegal immigrants, but for pot smugglers (and, yes, other drugs). Perhaps, we could put that money to better use. Perhaps – and I don’t know if Sarah agrees with this – we should end the legal status of marijuana. (In the interest of full disclosure, I have tried pot on two occasions and have never been a regular user of any illegal drug. I barely drink.)
Even though we still would spend money to defend our borders, if we legalized marijuana, we could do three things that would be good for the economy:
- Tax it. I believe that California has all ready earn $80 million in taxes for their new prescription marijuana. One article has estimated 1.2 billion dollars if they completely legalize it. Over the full nation with federal and state taxes, we could make a mint!
- Regulate it. Only safe marijuana would be on the market.
- Put people to work in our fields. Instead of subsidizing farmers to not grow food, we could have each one put in a pot field and let them earn some cold, hard cash.
I don’t know why more states on jumping on California’s bandwagon.