Bill Nye the Science Guy talks Marijuana
For those of us who grew up with Bill Nye the Science Guy, we did a lot of experiments at home. Hell, one time I made a fossil out of a bunch of stuff I found lying around the house. Bill Nye introduced science to an entire generation and we are thankful for his earlier shows. His new show…not so much.
Nonetheless, Bill was featured in a small segment of “Now This Weed” where he spoke about the concept of cannabis within a social setting. Let’s take a deeper look at the concepts he was talking about.
We need to Study The Effects of Marijuana
His first beef was with the current scheduling of cannabis and the political shit-storm surrounding the classification. Marijuana is currently a “Schedule I” substance which suggests it has no medical value and a high potential for abuse.
Virtually every cannabis study suggests that this classification is ‘not accurate’.
Under a Schedule I categorization, conducting research on the plant is very difficult. The DEA has to give researchers a ‘special permit’ to conduct research and can only [currently] use one source of weed grown from the University of Mississippi. Many researchers have complained that the cannabis produced by the University is subpar in terms of quality and even more disturbing is that the DEA hardly ever hands out those research permits.
What this means is that people can never fully research the plant’s medical benefits. In fact, most of the previous research sanctioned by the DEA was only issued to researchers if they were looking for “negative” effects of the plant.
Secondly, while the CSA labels cannabis as having “no medical value”, millions of people are using it as medicine. Without the ability to study the plant and look for proven medical value means that the DEA and the DOJ can continue to claim the “no medical value” keeping the plant in its current scheduling.
It’s good for the economy
Another point that Nye touched on was the fact that they legalized it in 2012 in Washington. Instead of spending on law enforcement, they are now spending money on regulation. Since then, there has been a surge of tax dollars to the state.
It’s also worthy to mention that Washington has high taxes on legal weed and as Nye said, “The world keeps on turning” despite the fact that marijuana is legal.
Prohibition costs a lot of money and all illicit cannabis sales do not funnel back into the State’s pocket. Under prohibition, all illegal revenue goes back to cartels or criminal organizations. I’m not saying ‘everybody that sells weed’ is a chapo, but what I am saying is that there is no direct benefit to the community under this scheme.
Additionally, prohibition limits the ability for the convicted to pursuit their lives to the fullest. A criminal record will haunt you for the rest of your life. This means that the convicted will always be fighting an uphill battle, they can’t get loans and in many cases good paying jobs.
The legalized cannabis industry on the other hand creates jobs, generates tax revenue and reduces the cost of enforcing prohibitionist laws. It’s a no brainer for anyone who has the ability to look past their own prejudices.
Is Nye a Toker?
In the beginning of the clip, Nye expresses his views on marijuana. “I don’t like it, but you guys by all means keep on toking [paraphrased]”.
This is an important notion for anyone who is on the fence about marijuana. You don’t have to partake to support the idea of legalization. It’s okay to advocate ending laws that do not benefit society at all, even if you don’t smoke it.
Nye is just one in a long list of other influential people who have come out and spoken in favor of legalizing, including Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
I believe it’s important for the cannabis movement to get more “non-smokers” to jump on the legalization bandwagon. It provides a deeper sense of legitimacy towards the cause. It shows us that this is not just a “toker issue” but goes well beyond that.
And anyone with an ounce of intelligence can easily see that the prohibition of marijuana, hell…the prohibition of drugs in general has social costs that far outweighs any of the potential risks of legalization.
Furthermore, anyone clamoring about being “free” should principally be opposed to the idea of prohibition. Drug consumption is a choice where you [the individual] literally only affect yourself. To prohibit the choice of experimenting with your own consciousness is a vile violation of your individual rights as a human being.
I’m glad that people like Bill Nye is speaking up in favor of cannabis and I hope more people will begin to chime in on the conversation. We know that prohibition is in its final days and with more people like Nye jumping on board...the end will come sooner than later.