Politicians should legalize marijuana

Submitted by Dave Rose
Posted 7/18/23

Dear editor:

I’m writing in response to the recent article entitled “Group forms in Park County to counteract marijuana normalization.”

The article begins, stating: …

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Politicians should legalize marijuana


Dear editor:

I’m writing in response to the recent article entitled “Group forms in Park County to counteract marijuana normalization.”

The article begins, stating: “Wyoming Citizens Against Normalization [WYCAN] wants Park County residents to have all the information about marijuana use through a variety of sources so they can make their own decisions.”

I’ll provide a bit of history and relate my personal experience.

Cannabis sativa has been used worldwide by many cultures for thousands of years, for medicinal, spiritual, recreational and industrial (hemp) uses. Prior to being subjected to the Marijuana Tax Act in the 1930s, hemp was a major crop worldwide, with its resilient fibers well suited to making high quality paper, rope and twine. Dupont was in the process of developing plastics to be used for rope-making. Hemp was viewed as unwanted competition, leading Dupont and the Rockefellers to pressure the U.S. government into criminalizing hemp. The Mexican sounding word “Marijuana” was used to demonize the plant as Mexican farmworkers and black Jazz musicians were the primary users at the time. During the “War on Drugs” of the 1970s, THC was added to Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, along with heroin and other dangerous drugs.

Prohibition of alcohol was an abject failure 100 years ago. Have we learned nothing? Alcohol (and tobacco) cause suffering and misery while killing thousands of users. Nobody has ever overdosed or died from consuming cannabis.

My personal experience:

In July of 2021 I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma in my brain. Following a biopsy to remove the tumor, I underwent five rounds of inpatient chemotherapy at Billings Clinic, followed by an autologous stem cell transplant at CBCI in Denver. I’ve been cancer-free for 18 months now. During treatment I was plagued with fear, anxiety and depression. The chemo side effects included loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea and vomiting.

I was back in Wyoming recovering for three weeks before my next chemo session when a friend visited and knowing what I’d gone through, produced two joints, saying “here maybe this will help.” When I smoked the cannabis, the anxiety was gone. It spurred my appetite and food tasted good again. I am living proof that cannabis does have legitimate medical use. I cannot believe that medical patients who could benefit from this herb are denied its possession and use here in Wyoming. Medical marijuana is available in 37 states. Of those 37, 21 also allow for recreational use. Montana, Colorado and Canada have all legalized cannabis for both medical and recreational use.

Wyoming politicians need to support legalization, at the very least allowing for medical use. At the federal level, remove cannabis from Schedule 1. There is overwhelming public support to do this. Just 1 in 10 (10%) say that marijuana should not be legal according to a Pew Research Center Survey conducted Oct. 10-16, 2022.

If the members who formed WYCAN were truly concerned about dangerous drugs, they should focus their attention on heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl, all of which can be found in Park County.

Dave Rose