TUESDAY’S election was a victory for the marijuana lobby: Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize recreational use, while Massachusetts will now allow doctors to recommend it as medicine.
It’s a movement around which many Democrats have coalesced. In Colorado, legalization was part of the state party’s platform. And last year, in Montana, Republicans voted to overturn the state’s medical marijuana law, but the Democratic governor saved it with a veto.
But Democrats should think twice about becoming the party of pot. I’m a lifelong partisan Democrat, but I’ve also spent 25 years as a doctor treating drug abusers, and I know their games. They’re excellent con artists.
Take, for example, medical marijuana laws. They were sold to more than a dozen states with promises that they’re only for serious illnesses like cancer.
But that’s not how they work in practice. Almost all marijuana cardholders claim they need it for various kinds of pain, but pain is easy to fake and almost impossible to disprove. In Oregon and Colorado, 94 percent of cardholders get their pot for pain. In Arizona, it’s 90 percent. Serious illnesses barely register.
It’s possible that they all really do need pot to help them. But consider this: pain patients are mostly female, whereas a recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adult cannabis abusers were 74 percent male.
So which one do marijuana patients resemble? Though only two states release data on gender, a vast majority of medical-marijuana cardholders are male. In Arizona, it’s 73 percent, and in Colorado, it’s 68 percent. The best explanation for such skewed numbers is that most medical marijuana recipients are drug abusers who are either faking or exaggerating their problems.
Written By: Ed Gogekcontinue to source article at nytimes.com