Some of us are old enough to remember a time when if someone asked you a question and you didn’t know the answer, didn’t know someone who had the answer or didn’t own a set of encyclopedias, you likely just sat there looking at each other until one of you moved on to another topic.
Obviously, the Internet changed all that. Even 20 years ago, the World Wide Web was already becoming a place to find answers to most questions involving just about any topic you could think of. Today, almost everyone carries access to the totality of human knowledge in their pocket/purse.
For example, there are probably a lot of people in Michigan right now wondering how this whole legal cannabis thing is going to work. There are many places they can go to find answers, whether it be on social media or message boards or in news stories.
But the state of Michigan is doing their part to simplify and streamline access to knowledge about both the recreational and medical marijuana laws for the citizens of the state. Those who go to Michigan.gov/marijuana will find a one-stop-shop for information covering both aspects of the marijuana industry.
From links for how to apply to be a medical marijuana patient to resources covering the new recreational law and the criminal penalties that come with exceeding the restrictions of that law, the site covers many of the questions patients and consumers in Michigan are likely to have.
There is also a list of frequently asked questions where the state seems to have taken some care to remain impartial while avoiding spreading debunked myths about cannabis. For example, if you click the question “Does marijuana use lead to other drug use?” you get: “The majority of people who use marihuana do not go on to use other, ’harder’ substances. More research is needed to understand if marihuana is a “gateway drug” – a drug that is thought to lead to the use of more dangerous drugs (such as cocaine or heroin).”
While many – myself included – would quibble that more research is needed to put to rest this thoroughly debunked theory, not everyone is a cannabis activist who has looked deeply into the issue. The statement is reasonable and not overtly false while admitting something that many prohibitionists will not admit to this day: that marijuana use never leads to harder drugs for the majority who try it.
“Synthetic cannabinoids (e.g., synthetic marihuana, K2, Spice, Spike) – or plants sprayed with unknown chemicals – are dangerous and unpredictable,” the site says about the chemicals many turn to instead of natural cannabis. “Synthetic cannabinoids are not marihuana, but like THC, they bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the brain and other organs. Synthetic cannabinoids are also illegal in Michigan.
Research shows that synthetic cannabinoids affect the brain much more powerfully than marihuana creating unpredictable and, in some cases, life-threatening effects including nausea, anxiety, paranoia, brain swelling, seizures, hallucinations, aggression, heart palpitations, and chest pains.”
Of course the site could be more “pro-marijuana”, but that’s not really the point of it. It’s meant to be a resource for people wondering about participating in a legal marijuana industry – either on the supply side or the consumer side – and on that score, I’d say it does its job pretty well.