Since Medical Marijuana and recreational Marijuana are making the news, along with two states that have made recreational Marijuana legal for adults, I thought we should open some kind of dialog about it. I'm hoping that many will give their thoughts, opposition and support.

Since many of us have been indoctrinated by the US Government, let’s start there. Most of the information we receive is from NIDA (National Institute Drug Abuse) and it is their charter to deal with drug abuse, not benefit. Reading the latest "Facts about Marijuana", updated January 2014, we find the NIDA, states that it causes many lung related problems, inflammation, cough, phlegm, chest illness, COPD and a heightened risk of lung infections. It also states that Marijuana smokers, who do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work, because of respiratory illnesses. The NIDA’s position can be found in its entirety at

This is in conflict with a study done by UCLA which ran from 1985 for 20 years and had over 5100 people in the study. They were expecting some of the above problems, including cancer. They were surprised when they found a lower cancer rate, no irritation in the lungs and those that smoke Marijuana had a less lung related health problems than those that smoked tobacco. In fact their study stated that many had lungs that were more capable after smoking Marijuana than before and did no damage relating to COPD. As an asthmatic, I was also surprised. They believe that it's because of THC and other cannabinoids that have anti-inflammatory and immune suppressing properties. An article on the study is available at:

NIDA is aware of the study, but does not address it. Why do they not address this situation of complete conflict? They also offer no alternative study or reasons for their position or statements. This makes it hard to accept for anyone trying to form an opinion, as NIDA does not provide an acceptable argument. There are some links in the healthland article that is interesting to read and I suggest that you read them. Such as

U.S. Rules That Marijuana Has No Medical Use. What Does Science Say?

I feel that other investigations of Marijuana and its effects, preclude anything supported by the US Government. One should stay with studies from other countries and news feeds which don’t have a preconceived agenda. It is interesting that Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Neurosurgeon, Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN wrote an article "Whey I would say NO to pot" in 2009 but then completely reversed his opinion in a documentary called "Weed". This documentary is available via YouTube. You can also read his statements on "why I changed my mind on Weed" at

In conclusion, I will state that I was trained by the DEA as a police officer when I was going through the academy for the city of Glendale, Arizona. I found, even then, that the government’s statements were questionable at best and downright baseless in others. I suspect that we will see much on the subject in the coming months and years, with attempts to legalize it as a recreational drug and correct some existing problems with the Medical use of Marijuana.

Please give an opinion, along with what you position is based.

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Replies to This Discussion

I have a personal although anecdotal story on this topic.  First, my youngest son lives in Washington State.  That is one of the states with legal marijuana for all.  He moved out of the Seattle area into a more rural town because he said it was like playing bumper cars on the roads due to so many DUI drivers.  He had lived there since 1996 with the usual crazy drivers that any city of that size would have.  The roads got more dangerous, and he was always on guard when on them, after marijuana was legalized, almost immediately.  Now, even in his rural area west of Olympia, where he has lived for less than a year, he tells me he hates driving because of dangerous drivers on the roads.  He sees these studies and they don't impress him that marijuana is safe for the bodies of those who ingest at will.  It's not safe for those around people high on marijuana or any other drug, including alcohol.

Just for full disclosure, he was a heavy marijuana smoker as a teen.  Only after he gave up the practice did he come to understand how much better his life was.  He had more energy, he ate better, he cared more about everything, his work was more productive.  I had this discussion with him at the time, which was several years ago while he was living in the Seattle area.  Marijuana has always been readily available to those who were unafraid of breaking the law to get it.

One more thing.  Driving under the influence doesn't just endanger the others on the road.  I look at the ashes of my oldest son in a box in my house every day due to a DUI driver.  Which "right" is more important?  The "right" to legal marijuana or the "right" to live?

I believe we all have concerns about any kind of abuse and I'm sure Marijuana will be no different than other drugs as far as abuse goes.  Although my police years have sold me that those smoking will be less violent than just alcoholics.  I have also never stopped a person for speeding or any reckless driving conditions that were only using Marijuana.  So I think being intoxicated with Marijuana will be less likely to be dangerous to themselves and others.  The 'high' produced by it is unlike many drugs and those that seem to overindulge seem to want to go to sleep.

Also, there has never been a known fatality caused by the use of Marijuana, unlike prescription drugs where there is a death every 19 minutes from overdose.  The casual user of Marijuana is not a problem like alcohol and I've been to many concerts where Marijuana was everywhere and I never saw any kind of violence.  Most of these positions that I have noticed have been documented, even if few.  As any research on Marijuana is difficult and our government will not take any statements that are not the way they feel about the drug.

If you read the articles on Marijuana the research that was 20 years stated that some actually had better health than those that didn't smoke and those that smoked cigarettes. Nobody can predict what will happen, but Colorado has had Medical Marijuana for over 13 years and they claim there is no problem.  Recreational has only been around for only a couple of months and they are happy with not only the non-existent violence and the large amount of tax dollars it creates.

No matter, any reduction in costs to law enforcement would be great, as this war is lost and the money saved could be better put to use help people with addiction problems.  Prison does nothing for stopping this and what have you got when they get out?  I feel our laws are a lot like the middle east where they cut your hand off for stealing bread, even that doesn't stop the thefts.

Closing thought is that I would rather they let the drug users out of prison from overcrowding than the violent ones they now release, thanks to mandatory drug laws sentencing.

Rebecca, I'm glad you chirped in about your position on this drug.  One of the main problems is that , we the people have been mislead by the government about Marijuana.  It is apparent you didn't read any of the links provided, as you would have seen that Dr. Gupta was very much against it, like you.  After spending a year on research traveling the world he found that none of what you spoke about is true, at least in a general sense.  There have been no know suicides which was caused by Marijuana.  What you have is a drug that is almost always used in conjunction with other drugs.  When a death occurs, Marijuana gets part of the blame, irrelevant of what did happen.  That's the way it works when the drug has had a rather limited research position.  There have been NO deaths, where Marijuana was the cause.  To become toxic you have to ingest about 50 lbs in one sitting. Unless you consider the Cartels, which we created, just like the Mafia in the 20's and 30's. Many states have reduced small amounts of Marijuana to civil citation.  In Arizona it is still a felony, which gets prison time. I know of no person that was arrested here for distributing a controlled substance that didn't get prison time.  Kind of like cutting your hand off for stealing bread.

Israel has a full wing of a hospital for Marijuana research and over 20 countries have it in their pharmacopoeia, as we did until the early 40's.  Are these 20+ countries all stupid and the successful results they get are not real.  Are they that stupid, or is it the other way around.

I didn't start this to convince anyone of Marijuana being good.  I just want people to get information from someone other than the NIDA, which is still making statements that have proven wrong almost a decade ago.  I'm afraid that I still follow science. Even Obama stated that is is less harmful than alcohol.

As far as drug laws go, we know prison terms don't work.  These people have a sickness that is treatable, as all drug abusers do.  The Netherlands have a lot of drugs, like heroin, open and supply clean room and syringes for these people. Since that time, they haven't had a disease, that is spread by drug use in over 15 years.

Please read the associated links, like the one to Dr. Gupta. Dr. Gupta was asked to be the US Surgeon General, but turned it down.  You might want to pick up February Scientific American for the piece on allowing research.  It is your right to not believe, but your phones data transmissions are not captured by the NSA either.

By the way, as a police officer I learned something that has stuck with me for many years and this that a story has two sides, make sure you give the other side a chance, even if you just listen.

Thanks for writing, I'm looking for more.


As a recovering alcoholic who is sober 35+ years. I'm totally against the use of this drug. I know many lives that have been destroyed because of this drug. If it is needed for medical reasons ask yourselves why not get a prescription like every other drug go to the local drugest for your medicine. This is a ploy by Soros and others to keep us bumb high and out of the way. The marajuana of today is extremely more potent and is addictive inlike the pot of the 60's.
Don't be fooled it's about destruction of our children,families and so this failing government can collect tax revenues. Please take off your rose colored glasses and keep Arizona free of marijuana. I know there are many who hold cards for medical reasons that don't exist. Take two aspirins on wait the supporters would tell you that an asprin is a drug.
My opinion, just say NO.

I've heard this before. If we could get a legal drug that does what Marijuana is shown to help, many would.  As many are going the way of Medical Marijuana.  I'm only asking for all to read and make up your mind with all the facts, not trying to convert anyone. I'm not saying what you believe is wrong.  Just that the facts are missing from your arguments. I have no doubt that drugs have torn many families apart, but this also includes many of the narcotics, or opiates that we produce and sell.  Every 19 minutes someone dies from a prescription drug overdose.  These are safe drugs? 

Anyone with an addictive personality has this problem and I don't take it lightly.  As I know persons with this disease.  I have seen some amazing changes with people and their disabilities and would like that Marijuana be open for scientific research.  As it has been effectively blocked for many decades. Can you criticize that direction? In the hands of professionals?  They also have ideas about drugs such as LSD and others that are on the Schedule I list, which totally bans any research to any real extent.

Many of you think I'm for the legalization of Marijuana and want to push it.  I have no intention of that.  All I'm after is that all of you realize that the Government has not told us the truth, except as they want it.  No science not anything but tales, just like "Reefer Madness" shows.  Just remember all stories have at least two sides, know both before making a decision.

Thanks for the note...


Well, Dr. Gupta did for many years carry your thoughts. He even stated that the DEA had good reason for putting Marijuana on the Schedule I list. Now he has changed his mind by going out of the US and seeing what other countries and labs are doing and seeing some of the people that use Medical Marijuana.  I know I am, generally against Marijuana, as I am Buddhist where we don't put anything in our bodies that changes the conscience mind. So no, I don't believe we should.  Some of you, no matter the reality of it, will not even look.  So be that way, I'm only asking people to read about what's going on in other countries and documented here.  I'm also not following Dr. T. Leary with his views on LSD, yet some psychologist think it might be a way to help schizophrenics.  Right now, all research is banned, with the changes we have in technology there is no reason to do this. 

Even if all you have stated is correct, research will be able to tell us about any possible uses or abuses.  Not tales from the past.  I would think that any capitalistic group would want Marijuana legalized, as it's a great monitory income for taxes, if nothing else.

Sorry, I can't comment too much about the beatnik era, as I was pretty little and didn't get out much at that time.  George is not high on my list either.  As I think everyone on here thinks that I want every one to have it.

We are in a great age where there is lots of information out there, some, not too smart, some too smart, but out there.  Make use of it, don't close you mind on anything as there are at least two side to any story.

Thanks for the note.


I hope you read the reply by American Pride at the end or page two.


Jack, I get the impression from your posts that you really and truly want to legalize marijuana use in Arizona. That seems very strange coming from a police officer. Are you still an active duty police officer or are you retired? As a former member of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Office, one of the things we quickly learned is that any thing ingested into the body that alters the mental process is to be avoided. That is particularly true of someone driving a one ton motor vehicle with its inherent potential for great bodily harm to the driver and others.

I have no intention of relying upon studies done by UCLA or University of California Berkley or by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I am more likely to heed my personal observations and groups such as MADD. 

As a police officer, you must know that a vehicle traveling at 60 miles per hour travels one and one-half times that or 90 feet per second. Studies have shown that for the average person the reaction time from recognizing a perceived peril to reaction is 3/4th of a second. braking doubles that time interval so a vehicle will travel approximately 140 feet before coming to rest. this is under the best of circumstances. Mental impairment by marijuana, alcohol or any other mind altering substance does not seem to be something we should take lightly

Am I against legalizing marijuana use? Not necessarily, but it should never be done with out proper research and then only with appropriate safeguards and proper penalties for violating those safeguards. Those who use drugs should be treated and those who sell drugs, especially those who knowingly or unknowingly, sell to underage consumers should be locked up and the key thrown away. Of course, these are just my opinions.

I am not advising legalization of Marijuana. in fact I would like the Scheduling system to be thrown out and replaced by one that would allow research on different drugs that have been blocked by the government for no reason, other than monetary.  If research on these drugs would have been allowed, I doubt we would be having this debate.   I have a problem with a government that propagates known, erroneous information about any drug.  As an officer you no doubt have been indoctrinated by the same people that I was.  Didn't it occur to you that the numbers don't add up with Marijuana being a stepping stone drug with the number of users?  In 2012 there were over 740,000 people involved with police (how many thousands were not) and the use (really possession) of small quantities of Marijuana, these numbers do not show any kind of relation to hard drug users.  I did my own questions when I dealt with a hard drug user and asked what started them off.  Very consistently they pointed at Marijuana.  I proceeded to ask about alcohol, every one of them said they started with alcohol long before Marijuana.

Dr. Gupta had stated in 2009 in an article entitled "Why I would vote no on Pot", along the same lines as others.  I hope you read the link of why he changed his mind. He spent a year in research.

If you dislike UCLA's methods, I suggest you should look at any of the drugs you take and find that UCLA is one of the top drug trial groups in the US. Possibly 50% of the drugs we use have gone through UCLA. I would challenge you to see what the NIDA uses for groups and you will find, that in most cases, it would not make a medical journal as the numbers are way too small.

You, the typical American, which I am proud, are having a difficult time, just coming to terms that it might have uses. Marijuana was detailed some 3 centuries ago about it's medicinal properties. It showed up in the US pharmacopoeia in the 1870's, and was removed around the early 1940's. How did the US Government decide it had "no medical value"? This is not documented anywhere.  Even doctors at the time, stated it was a mistake to remove it and it had uses.

I am not asking anyone to believe, what I'm asking is that you, like you as an officer know, there are always two sides to a story.  Just listen to the other side and give it a chance.

Many of the notes have been written to me, obviously did not read any of the links and are just propagating erroneous information.  When I'm told that a relative had a pot problem and had problems eating, this is not Marijuana, which we know gives you the "Munchies", but more like amphetamine which is "speed" and is know for causing persons not to get hungry.

As I mentioned before, many countries have allowed some type of Marijuana. We have a high number that are allowing medical Marijuana.  There must be some truth in it. Again, don't believe me, just READ about it with an open mind, which is The American Way. As republicans we should be for legalizing it just for the monetary value.  Although I hold back on that direction.

Thanks for writing, I'm glad to hear from all of you... Especially LE.


Archie, it's not really that strange for police officers (active or retired) to approve of legalizing marijuana. There is actually an organization for LE that supports ending the prohibition of marijuana, . Just today I came across an article and Youtube video about a DEA officer who has now joined the marijuana industry, .

I think that people on both sides of this issue agree that nobody should get behind the wheel of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any other substance that can cause impairment. That's why I'm happy to live in a state with strict DUI laws and if it were up to me they'd be stricter.

I hope you read the reply by American Pride. On page two.


I read all these posts.  two out of three of my teenaged boys used marijuana in the late 80's thru 90's.  one dropped out of high school because he was so stoned all the time that he could not get himself to school.  He still pays the price for that. we had them in re-hab but the minute they got out of re-hab, they fell back into the habit because all around them were doing it. Both admitted how foolish and mis-led they were about the travails and the long-lasting effects of this drug.  Both today still pay the price and they know where their current problems come from.  Happily, they are now aware but for nearly 20 years, it was a battle to keep them going and alive.  Others have not been so lucky.  the pressures of trying to deal with the behavior problems and other problems split up our family and many others in our group of friends of the time.  I have to weigh the "rights" of the other point of view and in the end, rights come with responsibilities.  A person under the influence of drugs- prescription, over the counter, legal and illegal and alcohol- don't have good judgement and can't say, oh, I'm not fit to drive/run machinery/work/swim/etc.

MAYBE once the novelty wears off this will be less of a problem.  and we sure have lost the war on drugs.  Like Rebecca above, I have to believe my own experiences over any study.  I think my personal study through life experience is more important than biased studies and we all know that like polling, studies can and are often skewed toward a particular outcome.





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