Three weeks ago, in the June 20 edition of the Arizona Silver Belt, I wrote in this space about medical marijuana possibly coming to Globe, and the need for the United States of America federal government to reexamine its marijuana policy.
The headline read, “In defense of marijuana, medical and otherwise,” and that's basically what my column was about. My main defense of marijuana in that article centered on the relationship between alcohol and marijuana. If alcohol is legal, I wondered, why shouldn't marijuana be as well?
In addition, I argued that alcohol is a much more destructive drug than marijuana. I did not write that marijuana “makes you want to sit back and relax,” as David Cook put it during last Monday's Globe City Council meeting.
At the end of the article I promised to finish my defense of marijuana in three weeks. Well, I'm a week late, but here we are.
My second argument centers around the United States of American's epic fail on the misguided war on drugs, which began in the 1970s. I read the Globe Police and Gila County Sheriff's arrest logs every day, and many times there is at least one marijuana arrest.
Our prison system is flooded with non-violent, marijuana offenders. Legalizing marijuana would drastically cut down on our overtaxed penal system and allow us to focus more on the people we need to focus on, those who commit violent crimes and present a danger to the general public.
Please know, I am not necessarily saying we should legalize marijuana, and I am not promoting a “stoner culture.” As I wrote in my first column about medical marijuana, “I think it’s time that as a nation we reassess our marijuana policy.”
On a similar note, congratulations to the Globe City Council for allowing Globe Farmacy to move the location of its proposed medical marijuana growing facility from 200 W. Ash St. to 171 W. Mesquite St. Private citizens turned out in droves at last week's city council meeting for a public hearing regarding the matter, as well as at the city’s last Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Where were these people last February, nearly a year and a half ago, when the previous city council originally approved Globe Farmacy to operate both a medical marijuana growing facility and dispensary in the city limits? As Councilman Desmond Baker wondered at Monday's meeting, why did these people wait until the 11th hour (“12:05” actually) to voice their opinions on medical marijuana?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but I am glad that the members of the city council stuck to their guns and did not give in to a rash of hyperbole from the citizenry.
All hail the ‘Pied Piper’
This is off topic, but I had to applaud all those involved in the Summer Youth Musical Theater Program. They once again have put together a stunning production — this time it's “Pied Piper the Musical.”
I caught the Saturday night performance, and was amazed at the professionalism and talent displayed during the production, whether it was the singing, dancing, acting, music, costumes or the set design. I don’t know how Suzanne Lederman et al do it every year, but they do.
This show is not to be missed, if for no other reason than to see what the youth of our community can do. There are still shows scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday. To buy tickets call the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts at 928-425-0884.
On a similar note (forgive my self-promotion), I will have two small parts in the Copper Cities Copper Community Players’ next production, the Mark Twain comedy “Is He Dead?” The play follows the story of a struggling French artist, Jean Francois Millet, who pretends to be dead in order to drive up the price of his paintings.
The cast did a read through of the first half of the play on Friday evening, and rest assured, as long as we don’t screw things up, those who attend the play will be rolling in the aisles, laughing uncontrollably. Performances of the play will be in September; we’ll have more detailed information in the Silver Belt as we get closer to opening night. I'm looking forward to being part of the rich tradition of the Copper Cities Community Players and getting an inside look at the magic the organization consistently produces.