Marijuana, gambling take a front seat in new legislative session. That's disappointing under GOP leadership
Feels like a legislative dollar grab. If it can be taxed, let's do it. Heck of a way to do business, NC Legislature!
Yep, it's all about conversation, Andrew. You have a lot of good things to say and I respect your positions. I would simply encourage you to take a deeper look at the science behind cannabis. At its worst, its medicinal value is overhyped. But it's just not a demon and if it lowers alcohol consumption, it's a blessing. And it's already here in NC, and easily accessible regardless of this legislation. As someone involved in the criminal justice system, trust me on this. This bill just gives access to people who could be assisted by cannabis, even if it is a placebo. It's uncaring to deprive seriously ill people of that choice. And perhaps it's the libertarian in me, but I feel a strong desire to let people direct their own path in life and make their own choices. Again, we can sanction negative outcomes to discourage them, but let's agree to to put the State in charge of the people's choices themselves. The State has never proven itself competent instrument to achieve and improve a great number of things. Let's allow it the minimum amount of control over our personal choices.
Andrew, please see the link below re: cannabis product efficacy. Great study with a large base of subjects. Amazing that people still associate cannabis with "death and destruction". It's just not reality and it's time that folks educated themselves.
Thank you for your column Andrew! I am so disappointed with House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. The Republicans have the majority in both House & Senate and should be pushing Conservative issues, however, they are acting like Democrats and pushing liberal issues (Marijuana, Gambling, Expanding Medicare, Etc). So frustrating! These issues are not "cool". I'm from CA and I saw what happened after these policies were passed there - they ruined the state. that's why people are moving here in droves so that they can escape liberal states and live in a family-friendly, fiscally conservative state! Don't turn us into a CA!
Wow, so much for libertarian thought and adults making decisions for themselves! And so much puritanical judgment. This column could have been written in the 1930's.
Gambling: The best argument against it is that it is a tax on the poor (not that it is some sort of intrinsic "vice" by nature.) But we already have the lottery, and that ship has sailed. Those who want to gamble in NC already can do so via scratch-offs, etc.
Marijuana: What an astounding lack of research on the medicinal benefits of cannabis. If you haven't seen a friend or family member benefit during chemotherapy, perhaps it doesn't hit home. But if you put the medical benefits aside, and assuming your argument is correct that lax enforcement will turn this bill into a defacto recreational bill (I disagree), cannabis is just not the demon you make it out to be. Under your argument, we should reinstate alcohol prohibition. In my law practice, I see the vast devastation that alcohol wreaks on our society--yet we encourage it, let alone allow it. But we don't prohibit because we recognize the rights of adults to make decisions for themselves. And we sanction the negative behaviors such as drunk driving to discourage irresponsible use.
This is "Nanny State" thought in its most potent form.
No to medical marijuana and sports gambling...nothing redeeming in either but a boatload of never-ending harm if not death. Hear the Sheriffs in other states which have legalized the former. Both are are steps to greater vice. The General Assembly ought to devote its energies to tackling problems rather than creating them.
Neither are family friendly.
Here we go again. You and I have disagreed on this before. Your statement that "there's no evidence that marijuana is legitimate for medicinal purposes" is just blatantly untrue. Arguments are much more credible when they stick to the facts.
I remember the beginning of the N.C. lottery. Former g governor Jim Martin was one of the opponents. As I recall, he said he was concerned that individuals might become addicted to the lottery, but he was just as afraid that the state would become addicted to it. He was right.
Follow the money.
Politicians are perceived, in the case of 'medicine', as doing good for the health of the public. With gaming/gambling they are providing sanctioned legal 'recreation' that can be taxed which is also construed as a public 'good'.
What is not talked about is the lobbying income legislators receive - both industries create huge cash flows and of course the campaign war chests of sitting senators and representatives will amass more money as a result. Bureaucracies and the governance business love this. It is an elegant form of feather-bedding.
Where is the harm in that? Seems like the public will find out in the next few years.
I love your overall commentary and agree with you 95% of the time, but your arguments against medical marijuana are weak. Many states have adopted medical usage but not recreational usage, to suggest it is a back door strategy is questionable. And many folks have benefited from medical usage and there are many studies to support it. With all due respect, your statement that "there's no evidence that marijuana is legitimate for medicinal purposes" is just blatantly false. You are better than that.