Reliance on science for legal arguments not only rhymes but has a side-effect. Once science changes what we know or can do, the old argument whithers. Medical marijuana shows this point. Assuming one agrees that there is a medically sound reason to prescribe marijuana for pain and other ailments, the medical marijuana movement has some traction. Get high; get better. But what happens to all those collectives and the people who want to get high, well to get high, when someone finds a way get the medicinal effect without the high? As Wired reports, pot’s “palliative properties appear to come from a substance called cannabidiol (CBD), which some research has shown to have anti-inflammatory advantages. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it barely binds with the brain’s receptors. As a result, people can ingest it without getting high.” Thus treatments for “chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and to stimulate the appetite of patients undergoing chemotherapy” could be had if someone isolated the CBD part but reduced the THC which gets people high. Turns out Tikun Olam in Israel is doing just that.
Lesson: Yes, you may need a theory plus facts to justify your arguments. If medical marijuana is about helping people with the ailments above they should embrace the new strain. If there are other ailments only THC can address, that will fuel the movement too. But if the whole thing is about saying let folks get high because they disagree with current drug policy, it is time to rally the non-medicine-based arguments.