When you think of a historic event what comes to mind¯ Apollo 11, the American Revolution or perhaps Pearl Harbor, right? Well, yes, those events rank as such because they shaped and changed our country. Therefore, I found it a bit stunning when I read that when Colorado and Washington recently “legalized” pot that some offered it up as a historical event. Quite the contrary, I say. Never mind that it’s still federally illegal and is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the US. Nevertheless, last week, the voters in those two states passed laws to allow those over 21 years old to possess marijuana for recreational use.
Have our states’ revenues become so starved that we have to resort to compromising our stance on something we once felt was socially unacceptable? Does it matter that marijuana heightens the risk of lung infections, impairs short-term memory, increases the risk of heart attacks and damages the respiratory system and brain? Besides alcohol, marijuana is the leading cause of substance abuse. What about the increased health costs that will be incurred as a result? But wait, those issues pale in comparison to the supposedly 13.7 billion dollars the US government would save in prohibition enforcement and the tax revenues, also in the billions, proponents say would be generated in the next several years. I do not care how you slice it, dice it or downplay the side effects of marijuana, legalizing it is not the answer to our social or economic ills.
Millions of folks use marijuana and now we will see an upward rise in the numbers. Researchers say that the costs to treat alcohol and tobacco related issues outweigh the revenues they bring in. So what makes anyone think that the same trend with marijuana will not follow? Those passionate for legalizing marijuana for recreational use have flawed thinking and the aftermath will not be pretty.
We are becoming more tolerant of things we once thought morally distasteful and now accept them as being essential to our survival. What has caused this pollution in our thinking? I cringe to think what’s next.