Record December Sales Prove America’s Love Affair with Marijuana

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December 2023 was a banner month for marijuana sales. From Rhode Island to Maryland to Illinois, states all across the fruited plain saw record sales in the final month of the year. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of recreational marijuana made it into the hands of untold numbers of users. It all just proves America’s love affair with a plant that has been illegal in this country since the 1970s.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t get it. I understand that the majority of Americans now favor marijuana legalization across the board. I don’t get why. Maybe that’s why I still favor banning recreational consumption. If that makes me old fashioned, I am willing to accept that.

Intoxication Is the Whole Point

High school was an interesting time for me. I was a freshman when I was first introduced to marijuana as a recreational drug. Alcohol was also on the table. I chose to drink but stayed away from marijuana. Given that the whole point of using marijuana is to get high, I am glad I never tried it.

I do regret drinking alcohol. To make a long story short, I eventually realized I was only drinking to get intoxicated. So I stopped. Not only do I no longer have a need to get drunk, but I also don’t even enjoy what it feels like. My dislike for intoxication is pretty consistent. I was once prescribed a Tylenol-codeine medicine following substantial dental surgery. I only lasted one day. I quit taking it because I didn’t like the way it made me feel.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would not like the feeling induced by marijuana. As such, I am in no way tempted by it. Someone could offer me free marijuana for life, and I wouldn’t take them up on the offer. It is just not my thing. Am I in the minority? Perhaps not when the question is strictly marijuana. But when you consider intoxication in general, I probably am. Between alcohol and marijuana, most of the adult population is covered.

Medical Cannabis Is Different

While I am opposed to recreational marijuana, I am fully in favor of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis is a different thing. For example, a chronic pain patient might choose medical cannabis over narcotic painkillers. To me, that is a sound choice. Cannabis doesn’t have the same addictive potential as those other medications. It also doesn’t kill people the way drugs like fentanyl do.

As long as we’re discussing medical cannabis, I appreciate how they do things in Utah. All medical cannabis consumed in the state must be produced and sold there. The state issues medical cannabis cards on the recommendation of qualified medical providers. With a card, a patient can visit Brigham City’s Beehive Farmacy, or any other state licensed pharmacy for that matter, to purchase cannabis products.

I wouldn’t mind seeing medical cannabis transition from the current medical card model to a legitimate prescription model. But that would require significant changes in federal law, changes that are not entirely out of the question. Indeed, switching to a prescription model would be the net effect of moving marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

Regardless of my particular thoughts, record sales this past December prove that America loves its marijuana. States have given consumers the right to buy marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes. It is something I have to live with. If you are a fan of recreational marijuana, have at it. I think I will continue the practice of not using it.

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