In my years as a youngster I never thought that we would be seriously discussing whether Marijuana should be considered either for medicinal or recreational usage. And as a conservative, I would have never thought that we would need to spend the time debating the pros and cons without a lot of easy standard lines: "It's a Gateway Drug", "Kills Brain Cells", "Highly Addictive".
But here we are, and frankly, I'm not prepared to just discard the discussion as unimportant or too obvious to spend time on. That would be both a disservice and inconsistent with my belief that positions on policy should be reviewed and when challenged, they should be openly and honestly discussed.
I'm not a doctor, nor have I had the time to study this at such a level of depth as to call myself an "expert" on the topic. But I have discussed this with doctors I know, and I've looked at some of the information currently available (here, here, here and here). I've also been around friends that were regular users of Marijuana, and I even took one deep breath of the stuff (from a pipe) when I was younger. Yes, I inhaled. Didn't like it. And I was a tobacco smoker at the time.
Most of us here in the Midwest tend to just laugh at California for legalizing Marijuana for medicinal use. We could have more or less predicted that dispensaries would become dealers for all who wanted, not just those that actually needed it. And as the debate is building here in Iowa [...]