This article belongs to Joe is Fine, Are you? column.

It is great to be back writing for The Cheers again. I want to thank Siim for taking me on as a writer again.


With that being said I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself again for those who are new readers to The Cheers. I am a thirty-five year old mother to a seven year old little boy. I live in Topeka Kansas and am currently pursuing my Bachelor's degree in physical education. I am going to get my Masters in public health and then get my doctorate. I currently attend Washburn University and am in my third year there.


I wanted to bring up an issue that we recently discussed in my critical issues class to get some feedback from the readers here. We recently discussed the pros and cons of making marijuana legal for medicinal purposes. I took the con side because, all too often, I have seen what can happen when a drug addict comes down off of a high. In my personal experience, they have become emotionally and physically abusive.


We raised a few questions on this issue and one that we asked was how something like this would be prescribed? I mean, would it replace the standard take two aspirin and call me in the morning with take two hits off a joint and call me in the morning? Can you imagine going to the pharmacy and asking the pharmacist if your pot is ready for pick up? Furthermore, what about the involvement of minors in the "medicinal" use of marijuana? If we decriminalize marijuana, I see the rise of drug related crimes instead of a decline. People will abuse it just like they do alcohol which is decriminalized yet getting harder and harder to buy along with cigarettes. This morning I woke up to find that someone had rifled through my car looking for anything of value to pawn to buy who knows what. The contents of my glove compartment were half on the floor. The contents under my seat had been rifled through as well.


So, if a person is going to steal to buy booze or cigarettes, they will steal to buy marijuana if it were to become legal. We would have a whole new population defrauding the system to get the marijuana just like they do to get extra food stamps, cash assistance and maintain the dependency on prescription drugs via the medical card.


There is still argument that the use of marijuana is addictive or not. Well, duh! Caffeine is addictive, nicotine is addictive and so is alcohol and these are legal stimulants. Then there are the non chemical addictions such as internet addiction, gambling, and shopping. On a recent talk show, a mother admitted that she sold her body for money to support her daughter's shopping habits. The point is folks will do illegal things for the things that are legal; do we want to add to that fire by making drugs such as marijuana legal?


Marijuana does far more damage to one than casual cigarette smoking. Marijuana affects mental cognition and behavioral actions. It impairs lung function by causing abnormalities in the cells of the airways and lung tissues. Things such as motor function, concentration, and memory are also affected.


This is an issue that is highly controversial. Only time will tell what will happen with the future of marijuana in the United States.