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Opinion: Maybe it’s time to legalize marijuana
marijuana.jpg
Marijuana - photo by Associated Press

It was sad to read about the passing of 8-year-old Hawk Harrison, his short time with us filled with frequent seizures. He at least got some relief from the use of cannabis oil, legal here in Georgia since 2015, according to what I read (and trust) here in The Times.

My wife is a Stage 4 cancer survivor. In her support group we met a lady suffering from esophageal cancer. Like so many cancer patients the side effects of chemo were just awful. She only got relief by drying cannabis leaves, grinding them up then mixing it with oil. She then massaged it into her skin and got the relief she wanted/needed. 

On a personal note, I love to play piano, but my dang left thumb is impacted by arthritis. I get relief from CBD oil. So I play on. 

Having lived in Colorado for 20 years before retiring to Georgia, we saw first hand how the cannabis industry took off after it was legalized. Not only for medicinal use but to get, you know, high. Even without any help from your friends. 

There is a clash between state legalization and federal banking laws so the business is cash only. Imagine pay day when your boss hands you a wad of cash. Weed stinks, too — like smelling a skunk. Banks do take cash deposits, but they hate the stink, so many businesses have washing machines to launder, literally, money before depositing it. 

Tax revenue from all this goes towards health care, health education and ironically, substance abuse programs and law enforcement. Weed has generated $1.6 billion in tax revenue since it was legalized in Colorado. 

Far out. 

Georgia is the place of legend for moonshine stories. There is no shortage of 21st century weed moonshiners here in the Peach State. So what’s next? The medicinal properties are proven — a good thing. Relief is just that, relief from all sorts of ailments. Even in the life of an 8-year-old little boy. 

It’s only a matter of time before a neighboring state fully legalizes weed. The road between us and them will sure be busy. So, maybe it’s time Georgia goes all in. Full legalization. Tax revenues would be substantial. Maybe law enforcement could spend more time dealing with the growing violent crime epidemic here in Georgia, funded by, you know, weed revenue. 

Just a matter of time. Maybe the time is — now.


Brian Olson

Gainesville

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