Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heather's Corner: Town of Oro Valley Publicly Gives Medical Marijuana a Bad Rap

I would like to start off by saying I am not a medical marijuana crusader. But it should not be myself nor anyone else to judge the proven positive medicinal effects on those that may warrant it's use.

Our Town of Oro Valley has a medical marijuana dispensary, Catalina Hills Care, which opened in June, 2013. The facility offers a variety of educational materials pertaining to medical uses, side effects, and contraindications of the use of this drug. They employ qualified staff who are more than willing to ensure "the best patient care."

Medical marijuana is becoming more nationally accepted, I expect that it's use will remain controversial for some time to come.

What I do not expect is biased, negative, and non factual information regarding the use medical marijuana that the Town Of Oro Valley is presenting to our community via its web site.

The Town Of Oro Valley's website has several pages pertaining to information about medical marijuana titled: "Questions and Answers on Medical Marijuana," "Medical Marijuana," and "Marijuana Fast Facts." There was some very interesting information about the statistics of medical marijuana users in Arizona.

I was appalled, however, by what the town presents as facts. These "facts" are opinions and moral judgments, cloaked in what should be a neutral town website ("Marijuana Urban Myths"):
Item 3
"Marijuana is all right because it is natural! – False. So is Poison Ivy. You don’t want to smoke or ingest that." 
Does the following seem ludicrous and patronizing to you or am I missing something?
Item 5
"We can just legalize it and tax it, just like alcohol! It will be a government windfall! – False. We already tax alcohol and cigarettes. The amounts recovered from them cover less than one tenth of the actual costs to society. The same is true for marijuana. As mentioned above, marijuana is addictive. Doesn’t it seem morally wrong for your government to create new addicts just in order to make money?" 
It is inconceivable to me that I am reading this on the website representing the people of our community. It seems morally wrong that Oro Valley would try to manipulate it's residents by publishing this type of nonsense.
Item 6
"Marijuana is safe because they call it medicine (I)!- False. Marijuana is marijuana. Marijuana smoke is 70% worse for you than regular cigarette smoke in both carcinogens and other harmful chemicals."
This statement, item 6, is simply misleading.  Smoking is not the only way to use it medically. There are a variety of ways it can be used medically that are proven a safe such as edibles, teas, tinctures, and topical.
Item 8
"Marijuana is safe because it is medicine (III) . “Medical” Marijuana is not medicine for the following reasons: D) How many prescriptions let you decide if you are going to take your medicine all at once on the first day, or a lot the first day and then a little for another two weeks, or just skip doses whenever you want? “Medical” marijuana users can do all of the above plus more." 
This item assumes that medical marijuana users are unable or unwilling to follow a regimen. One, of course, could make the same argument for users of legally prescribed and widely accepted narcotics like the depressants Nembutal, Valium, or Ambien or opioids and morphine derivatives like codeine and Percocet. Is it fair to assume the Town of Oro Valley is against these medicines as well?

The bottom line is that medical marijuana is legal in Arizona. It is legally sold in Oro Valley. For the Town Of Oro Valley to have a web page telling why it is a bad thing is wrong. It's not their job.

I ask the Town of Oro Valley to reconsider the unconscionable wording on their information about medical marijuana and misuse of resources to deny what is a legal right.. What they have published violates public trust because so many of their "facts" are incorrect, misleading, or simply rank ignorant opinion.

A portion of Arizona's 37,598 certified medical marijuana users live here in Oro Valley, including one of my dear friends with Multiple Sclerosis. Oro Valley should be respectful of their individual chosen paths to wellness as well as to Catalina Hills Care.

What do you think?
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley for 6 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. She loves gardening, nature, art, and travel. Currently her two young children fill up most of her days (and nights) with chaotic bliss. Oro Valley favorites: memorial bench at the entrance of Romero Canyon Trail in Catalina State Park, Toscana Studio and Gallery, Oro Valley Fall Festival, the gumption and determination of Oro Valley residents!

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