The Pros and Cons: Should medical marijuana be legal?

Personally, I have never used marijuana or other illegal drugs, and wondered what all the fuss is about. But I know plenty of people across the social spectrum who smoke pot, and it seems no more harmful than alcohol. The libertarian in me says take a laissez-faire approach: If it does no harm, let the individual decide for himself.

The “facts” on medical marijuana are as diverse as the people who smoke it. Credible studies from one side are countered with convincing conclusions by the other – and both sides have strong and plausible points.

At over $40 billion annually, enforcing our nation’s marijuana laws is expensive. Pot is big business not just for dealers, but for those who enforce our drug laws. And marijuana has the potential to be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry. If scientists are able to package the benefits of marijuana into a pill, it would be a gold mine for the drug companies. Those companies have a vested interest in keeping weed unavailable to patients in its natural state.

For the pro-legalization point of view, I spoke at length on two occasions with John Morgan. To date, Morgan has put more than $1 million of his own money to get the medical marijuana issue on the ballot next year.

For the opposing view, I spent a day with Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, discussing the issue as we patrolled the streets and went on a scheduled security check over Hillsborough County in a sheriff’s office helicopter.

By CHRIS INGRAM

Special to The Tampa Tribune Sunday, November 24, 2013
marijuana_debate_header

Thanks to a well-funded effort by ubiquitous trial lawyer John Morgan, Florida voters are likely to get the opportunity to vote for, or against, approving the use of medical marijuana next November.

For most supporters, the issue of medical marijuana is a highly emotional issue based on personal beliefs and scientific evidence that is often criticized by the establishment. Meanwhile, opponents say approving marijuana usage for medicinal purposes is a mere foot in the door that will eventually lead to approval of recreational marijuana use. That, they say, will lead to greater use of harder drugs and create more societal ills.

Personally, I have never used marijuana or other illegal drugs, and wondered what all the fuss is about. But I know plenty of people across the social spectrum who smoke pot, and it seems no more harmful than alcohol. The libertarian in me says take a laissez-faire approach: If it does no harm, let the individual decide for himself.

The “facts” on medical marijuana are as diverse as the people who smoke it. Credible studies from one side are countered with convincing conclusions by the other – and both sides have strong and plausible points.

At over $40 billion annually, enforcing our nation’s marijuana laws is expensive. Pot is big business not just for dealers, but for those who enforce our drug laws. And marijuana has the potential to be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry. If scientists are able to package the benefits of marijuana into a pill, it would be a gold mine for the drug companies. Those companies have a vested interest in keeping weed unavailable to patients in its natural state.

For the pro-legalization point of view, I spoke at length on two occasions with John Morgan. To date, Morgan has put more than $1 million of his own money to get the medical marijuana issue on the ballot next year.

For the opposing view, I spent a day with Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee, discussing the issue as we patrolled the streets and went on a scheduled security check over Hillsborough County in a sheriff’s office helicopter.  (Click here to read the full column in Sunday’s Tampa Tribune.)

Gee still
Click on image to quick link to video interview with Sheriff Gee.
Morgan still
Click on image to quick link to video interview with Sheriff Gee.

 

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.

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Super funny (unless you’re Charlie Crist)

Listen to the funniest segment on the radio (at least last night) by clicking here: http://www.newstalkflorida.com/news-change-over-the-years-with-guest-al-ruechel/#disqus_thread Then click on the “play” button for the segment titled “Charlie Crist.”

By Chris Ingram

Last night I had the privilege of interviewing Al Ruechel, local TV personality at Bay News 9, while I was guest-hosting “Florida Tonight” on AM 820 News/Tampa and AM 1190 News/Orlando. Usually Al is interviewing me on Bay News 9 where I serve as the Republican political analyst. Last night, I got to ask the questions.

Graphic: Toocan “Too-tan” Charlie Crist. (1988 archive photo prior to dating Katherine Harris)

Al was his normal self: calm, cool, and collected. All this, even though HE was the one being interviewed — which he is no doubt, not used to.

So we’re in the third segment of the show (Al was on for an hour), and we started talking about Florida’s version of a weathercock (yes, there is such a thing, click here) when the conversation turns to Continue reading “Super funny (unless you’re Charlie Crist)”

FDLE report: Crist paid men to hide gay affair (ouch!)

Tallahassee, Florida – 10 News has learned of allegations of homosexual affairs, a governor trying to kiss another man, and drunken escapades by former Governor Charlie Crist.

***Breaking News***

Kudos to WTSP/CBS channel 10 reporter Mike Deeson (who incidentally is one of the best investigative reporters in Florida) for breaking the following story about former Florida Governor Charlie “Chuckles” Crist, aka: “the Tan Man,” allegedly having paid men to leave the state of Florida to hide his gay lifestyle.

The issue here of course is not “Crist is gay” — that has been common speculation for years. The real issues are: 1) what did he do to cover up his personal life that may have involved pay-offs? 2) what (if any) monies were used? 3) who were those monies paid to? 4) who else knew about it — among other issues surrounding the alleged cover-up? and 5) Okay, Crist is gay, but did he really try to make-out with Jim Greer? Eeeewww!!!

You can start to read Deeson’s story below, and watch the WTSP/CBS 10 news story segment tonight at 11:00 on Channel 10 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg market.

Arguably the funniest part of this story is ambulance-chasing liberal Democrat lawyer, and Chuckles’ boss,  John “Fat Boy” Morgan, of Morgan, Morgan, Morgan and Morgan, calling Jim Greer “porky pig.” Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Report: Charlie Crist paid men to hide gay affair

By Mike Deeson

Tallahassee, Florida – 10 News has learned of allegations of homosexual affairs, a governor trying to kiss another man, and drunken escapades by former Governor Charlie Crist. Continue reading “FDLE report: Crist paid men to hide gay affair (ouch!)”

Irreverent View handicaps the likely GOP presidential candidates

With 2010 elections now well behind us, jockeying for the Republican nomination for president begins in earnest. GOP control of Congress and the White House will largely hinge upon how well Republicans manage their new majority in the House, and how successful they are at conveying to the American public that with the Democrats still in charge of the Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, their hands are pretty much tied.

Expect a bruising campaign season. And brace yourself. It has already started.

By Chris Ingram

With 2010 elections now well behind us, jockeying for the Republican nomination for president begins in earnest. GOP control of Congress and the White House will largely hinge upon how well Republicans manage their new majority in the House, and how successful they are at conveying to the American public that with the Democrats still in charge of the Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, their hands are pretty much tied.


Those realities won’t keep a bevy of politicians (and perhaps one or two non-politicians) from entering the race to oust Barack Obama. But a bruising campaign season full of fund raising, list building, town hall meetings, and media interviews will ensue first – long before the GOP crowns its nominee in Tampa in the summer of 2012.

Irreverent View takes a look at the hopefuls

Currently perceived to be “Top Tier” candidates

Sarah Palin – the former Alaska Governor who was selected by John McCain to be his VP nominee for three simple reasons:  she has a nice pair of  Continue reading “Irreverent View handicaps the likely GOP presidential candidates”

What do Charlie Crist, Mike Tyson, and Heidi Fleiss have in common?

Still, it was a good move for Charlie. His “sell by” date just got extended until November. And if Florida gets hit by three or four late-season hurricanes (possible), the Justice Department indicts Marco Rubio (could happen), and enough Flori-duh voters buy into Chuckles’ populism (most likely), he will find his lifelong dream of being a United States Senator fulfilled.

It must be a Florida election

By Chris Ingram

This week’s big political news story was of course Florida Governor Charlie “the Tan Man” Crist ditching the G.O.P. in favor of an independent run for the U.S. Senate.  Sir Charles will be listed on the ballot with no party affiliation after two decades in office as a Republican – well, at least on paper. Political watchers in the know have long suspected Charlie Crist as being politically androgynous. He just proved it to all those who doubted it.

Still, it was a good move for Charlie. His “sell by” date just got extended until November. And if Florida gets hit by three or four late-season hurricanes (possible), the Justice Department indicts Marco Rubio (could happen), and enough Flori-duh voters buy into Chuckles’ populism (most likely), he will find his lifelong dream of being a United States Senator fulfilled.

My prediction for the Florida U.S. Senate race: Continue reading “What do Charlie Crist, Mike Tyson, and Heidi Fleiss have in common?”

Florida U.S. Senate Debate

After watching Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio this morning on Fox News Sunday, it was clear voters have a choice. Unfortunately the choice is between two flawed candidates, one who is a big-spending liberal when it comes to policy, the other is a big-spender with other people’s money who doesn’t seem to know that’s wrong.

Charlie should re-think further debates with Rubio

By Chris Ingram

After watching Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio this morning on Fox News Sunday, it was clear voters have a choice. Unfortunately the choice is between two flawed candidates.  One who is a big-spending liberal when it comes to policy, the other is a big-spender with other people’s money who doesn’t seem to know right from wrong.

In a nutshell, the result of the first “debate” between Florida’s two main Republican U.S. Senate candidates was, Continue reading “Florida U.S. Senate Debate”