Battle for Votes

In the rawest form of democracy, we now have two camps vying for your vote on medical marijuana. It’s as simple as “yea” or “nay” and we’ll find out the answer at the polling booth. Just as soon as one of the two petitions to put the measure for medical marijuana on the ballot was approved, the publicity started up.

The main battles are being fought in the pages of our state newspapers. In particular, you can see the forces (both pro and con) by reading the Democrat-Gazette. Just in the past few weeks, there have been at least six pieces in the paper on the issue.

Some of the headlines on the published editorial/opinion pieces:
* “An Effective Treatment” – pro medical marijuana story
* “Helps Relieve the Pain” – a gentleman with back pain using marijuana
* “Might as Well Do That” – a sarcastic “surrender” to the forces pushing medical marijuana
* “Maybe a Different Spelling” – a response to another article in the Gazette which recommended, “just say no.”
* “Legal Remedy for Pain” – Describes marijuana use for pain.

This explosion of opinions is a good thing. It’s how we engage and work out what we, as a state, will do. In other states, medical marijuana measures were able to pass, at least in part, because the pro vote was able to get enough people out to the polls to make a difference. When there is a strong feeling for only one side of an issue, that side has an advantage – their supporter care enough to get off their butts and go vote. And that’s a good reason for both sides to put up their best arguments, and a good reason for the newspapers to print them.

The only real tragedy would be if one side of the legalization debate were silenced.


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