Friday, February 28, 2014
I've had it up to here with marijuana.
But seriously - I've had it. Once again, America has jumped on the bong bandwagon, thinking that the legalization of marijuana is the answer to all our economic and crime problems - plus it makes us look really, really cool.
In trying to research all the "pros" to legalizing marijuana, I found article after article touting the revenue benefits. In one, Milton Friedman, author and staunch marijuana supporter, writes in an open letter to the President, Congress, Governors and State Legislatures (and signed by 500 economists,) "The report shows that marijuana legalization -- replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation -- would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might generate as much as $6.2 billion annually."
But at what cost? And what's next? Crack cocaine?
I came upon an article that really spoke to every single issue I had with the reasons people think are good to legalize this stupid drug. Quotes like:
"Nobody goes to jail for marijuana."
Maybe not - but I bet later in life they go to jail for something else. And yes, I do think it can be a gateway drug. I most certainly do. Not for everyone. I'm sure there are those who enjoy a hit or two and go about their day. For others - it's a search for something to escape - something to take away the pain. For those people, it's just the start.
"No one ever died of a marijuana overdose."
Maybe not. But I do know of cases where drivers impaired by marijuana have killed people while behind the wheel. Kinda the same thing.
"It is not worthwhile for a law to forbid people from willingly exposing their own bodies to harm by using drugs."
It's not worthwhile to advocate for it, either.
"Smoking marijuana isn’t good for you, but then, neither is drinking a beer.”
Sorry, that's a lame excuse akin to, "If Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you?"
How about "legalizing marijuana makes every parent's job that much harder." What happens to all those anti-drug programs in the schools now? Do they have a little asterisk next to the word "pot"? Oh, kids, drugs are bad. But if any of you are on Facebook or read the news, you'll see article after article on how great this Mary Jane stuff is. Even recipes!
A recent article stated, "In perhaps the greatest display of entrepreneurial spirit in modern history, a California Girl Scout has been selling cookies outside of a San Francisco marijuana dispensary." She's being hailed as an entrepreneur. Are you KIDDING ME??? At her age she shouldn't even KNOW about the munchies. To me that was a HUGE parenting fail and we HAILED her as a Girl Scout Cookie HERO! To the Girl Scout organization's credit, they were not in favor of her selling techniques (Kudos to GS.)
My point is, we're in over our head. Again. Whomever thinks that legalizing marijuana is somehow going to be good for the moral fiber of America is, well, smoking crack. No matter how much the parent tries to influence the child, there is SO MUCH propaganda out there in favor of it that I don't blame them for questioning MY morals and MY values - because they're in the minority.
I'm sure when this legalization occurred, the powers that be just assumed that everyone this would affect would be responsible about it and follow the rules. That's when the "we're in over our head" thing comes into play. On paper, this may seem like a really sound idea - a way to help our economy. Morally, though, I truly believe we as a society aren't mature enough to handle it - nor SHOULD we be.
How about the legalization of medical marijuana? I appreciate the fact that it does give relief for some conditions, and in that case I do believe it should be allowed in pill form under strict guidelines. However, I fully see that it will be abused by people "claiming" illnesses just to get a script. In fact, I know of a few. They don't NEED it. They WANT it. And it's really not going to be that hard to get it.
I can tell you the high schools in town have a HUGE drug problem. Marijuana is probably the most prevalent, because it's the easiest to get (SO easy) - and usually what the "newbies" start out with. There are an endless multitude of varieties, cut with who knows what kind of agents and ingredients and sold by who knows who. And when someone gets a weak dose, they have a tendency to move on to something else. Mollies. Skittles. Tabs. DMT. And I'm sure much more. If I had the balls, I could "out" many, many kids right now - just by posting their names. If I had the balls, I'd knock on some doors and have some very serious conversations with some very clueless parents. Because it needs to stop. And they need help. I just don't know that it would do any good. Parents don't want to believe it. "It's not that big of a deal." And sadly, if they WANT to do something about it, there is not much they CAN do. Legally and parentally.
So I'm in the minority, apparently - I'm not on the bandwagon. Because I'm against the legalization of marijuana. Not because of the economy, or the crime rate, or the tax revenue. I'm against it for the KIDS. Because they don't know any better. And the more the press and the public shove how WONDERFUL it is down our kids' throats, the less power the parents have.And that's a problem.
If you smoke weed and you're an adult? Knock yourself out. If you don't MIND if your kid smokes it? I guess that's up to you and I hope you really know your kid. But for those parents with young children - I fear for you. I fear for me and I have a 12 year old. Because I can't send a unified message to them. I can't keep it from them. Me telling them it's "wrong" holds less water when every news outlet says it's "right." All I can do is try to become as educated as I can so I am able to convince my kids that "just because it's legal doesn't mean it's good." Yes, critics. Just like alcohol and cigarettes.
But not quite.