Medicinal marijuana needs to be accepted


I have long questioned why marijuana isn’t legal for recreational use. Study after study has proven it to be less dangerous than many of the substances we introduce to our bodies on a daily basis.

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that some people will remain close-minded about this plant for the rest of their lives. It’s a horrible thing that many men and women have to spend time in jail for a victimless crime, but I suppose that’s just how things have to be.

What I fail to understand is how a government can deny this plant to people who are using it medicinally. When all the side effects are taken into consideration, even aspirin appears to be a more dangerous drug.

Sadly, after originally welcoming the marijuana hubs, San Francisco has shown to the world that there are many people who still don’t understand medicinal marijuana.

After hearing concerns from local merchants and residents, the city’s planning commission rejected the green cross permit to add a dispensary to Fisherman’s Wharf.

What bothers me the most about their requests, which led to an already built store remaining unused, is that they cited that it would lower their quality of life. And, if you don’t find this totally absurd, you probably have the same false views of what was actually making its way onto the wharf.

You see, a marijuana dispensary is much more like a pharmacy than a local bar. Upon entering the store, patients requiring marijuana for medicinal use would have had to show their government-issued marijuana card and a doctor’s note before being served.

After they made their selection from the 55 different strains of marijuana that would have been offered, they would have had to make their way out of the store. Unlike many of the San Francisco dispensaries, people would not have been smoking on the premises and security guards would have been in place.

Still uncomfortable that dying citizens might actually enjoy their final days too close to the wharf?

Well, you can at least be sure that the owners would have been suitable for the job. All owners must first pass criminal and employment background checks before they pay for their permit and business license.

But after all of this, people still feared an increase in crime in their neighborhood. It’s almost like America still believes the movie “Reefer Madness” was real. That one inhalation of Satan’s drug of choice will suddenly drive one insane, leading to the murders of thousands. If this were true, I’m pretty sure Woodstock would have had a much different outcome.

So, what did people really have to fear?

Honestly, after watching five minutes of commercials you are pretty likely to see an advertisement for some new drug with worse side effects.

According to, marijuana is even unlikely to cause head, neck or lung cancer, as once popularly believed. It’s impossible to overdose on, non-addictive and does not kill brain cells.

As I stated earlier, I’ve come to terms that such a harmless plant can be withheld from recreational use due to the ignorance of those in power. However, there is no reason to let that ignorance lead to the sick suffering any more than they should.

Zachary T. Eckels is a senior in print journalism. Please send your comments to