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Crosstalk: April 24, 2019

The push for the legalization of marijuana is hitting America like a tidal wave! Many states have already legalized both recreational and/or so termed “medical” marijuana with many more beginning to implement one (or both). Legislators are pushing for legalization promising to be the cure all for pain, while at the same time, also adding significant relief of state’s heavy tax burden. Some even believe legalizing marijuana will eliminate the black market for drugs. Our guest today, strongly disagrees. 

David Smith is the Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute.  Prior to serving with this organization he worked for a Chicago Alderman.  He has over 30 years of experience in public policy and grassroots activism.  He has a Bachelors in Political Science and is an alumnus of Family Research Council’s Witherspoon Fellowship.  He is frequently interviewed on topics such as abortion, sex education, pornography, gambling and on our topic today.  

When did the push for marijuana begin? Smith (speaking of his state of Illinois) says it took ten years to become legal (effective in 2014) and now, five years later there is even more push back for more legalization claiming “not enough.” Smith chides “(today with all of the available conditions) if you cannot qualify for medical marijuana in the state of Illinois, there is something wrong with you!”

But, what about the “medical side?” Marijuana advocates herald that only marijuana can provide true pain relief. Smith argues first of all “Raw marijuana is not medicine! Eating a raw plant that has not been dispensed, measured, or given in a prescribed dose, is absolutely ridiculous! Like eating mold and calling it penicillin.” Furthermore, Smith mentions that there are “derivatives (of marijuana) that the FDA has approved that do not get you high (without THC).” Smith says “all the experts are looking at CBD (from marijuana) saying THIS is the real medical benefit in this plant whereas, the THC is what is sought after which is what gets a person high.” Does marijuana use help with pain? Smith says “anecdotally, yes, however, there are thousands of pain regiments available and if someone claims they have tried everything? They are lying to you. THC does get you intoxicated, does change your mental status and has negative effects.” 


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