I have seen strange laws get passed in my time, but what the state of Colorado just did takes the cake. I think they should change their nickname to The Stoned State and put it on their license plates. I don’t even approve of so called medicinal marijuana, so don’t even think of selling me on recreational.
Let me begin by saying the term medicinal marijuana is the mother of all oxymorons in the American English language. Marijuana does not cure anything. If medical research ever demonstrated that it cured a disease currently on the terminal list, than even staunch conservatives like me would have to keep an open mind. But so far the only quasi-medicinal use for it is to ease the suffering of cancer patients (and other terminal disease) from the pain and suffering of chemotherapy and such treatments. There is not a shred of evidence they are going to live any longer if they use marijuana. And if they do live, is it fair to them to destroy their brain cells, make them unable to function normally, and yet they still can’t make it to a ripe old age? Remember, Jesus suffered on the cross so we all could live.
When I was in tenth grade and had a required Health Education course for one semester, the teacher made us watch a film—remember 16mm movie projectors in classrooms? To teach in those days you had to know how to thread one! The film was called The Perfect Pill and it starred a very young Beau Bridges (I think is was made ten years before I was in tenth grade). Bridges talked about a perfect drug that could alter your mind, give you a buzz or high that would take your mind off your troubles but had no side effects or long-term consequences to body or brain cells. Absurd examples like Had a car accident and somebody got killed? Relax, take a pill and forget about it. Is that the society you want to live in—I sure as hell don’t. It is well known that excessive marijuana use does do damage to vital parts of the brain. Although it can be ingested other ways, if smoked, it is hard on the lungs. And nobody has yet done any studies on second-hand marijuana smoke—it could be as bad as second-hand tobacco smoke or worse.
Now in Colorado, one can enjoy marijuana recreationally. Imagine someone working in a store or restaurant taking a “break” and coming back stoned—do you really want that person waiting on you? Maybe it doesn’t affect driving the way alcohol does; but it has been suggested they do drive slower and process trouble on the road slower. Maybe it has little to no physiological addictive properties. But it does alter the dopamine (pleasure) part of the brain and its users learn to really like it. Isn’t that the root of all addiction?
My fear is that it will spread to other states. The two so-called perks to it are (1) if it is legal, it is state-regulated and taxed as tobacco and alcohol are and it is a new source of tax revenue to aid states in managing their debt and balancing their budgets. (2) If it is legal, it can be acquired by those who choose it legally and it is a stab in the aorta to organized crime. Both of these perks make it an attractive proposition to many states. First of all, it is going to be a lot harder to keep our youth away from it if it is legal. When it is legal, legal consequences, although not perfect, are better than nothing. Sure you can have a minimum age, but older people can acquire it for younger people, just as they do tobacco and alcohol. And the underage use it in places where they are unlikely to get caught. Besides, when you make it legal, you send a message to the underdeveloped adolescent mind it can’t be that bad. Second, marijuana is only one product organized crime deals in. Suppose we legalized cocaine, heroin, prostitution, assault weapons (weapons of war, beyond the 9mm and AR-15), and hand-held nuclear bombs, for the sake of being facetious and making satire? When you factor all this in, organized crime will survive just fine, with more emphasis on what is still illegal. As a matter of fact, marijuana is not a favorite among drug dealers. It is more of a start-up drug, because it works in the body backwards. The longer one uses it, the less is required to get that high so the user buys less and the dealer makes less. Hard-core dealers prefer drugs like cocaine—although deadlier, the longer one uses, the more the user needs and the more money the dealer makes. We certainly can’t make everything legal or we will not survive as a civilization. Even the far-left is on board with me on that.
I believe it is largely connected to something I spoke out about in both high school and college and still discuss with friends and peers—voter apathy. I am not convinced there is a large majority in favor of this. Remember that public service ad where they elected Bag-of Leaves and they show a Glad Trash Bag filled with freshly-raked dead leaves and introduced it as a mayor of legislator to make a point in a humorous fashion what happens if too many people don’t exercise their right to vote. Two-thirds stay home on election day and the one-third that shows up at the polls wins by electing the representatives that stand on their sides. I also know a lot of people I work with or have worked with that became Democrats twenty to thirty years ago because of the liberal bill of goods they were sold—the media, particularly the low tech media such as newspapers and broadcast television are generally liberal. I have conversations with many such friends and peers of mine and I come to the unstinting conclusion they simply don’t know why they are Democrats—therefore they don’t know what they are voting for! So this is the consequential algorithm: Bag-of-Leaves gets elected and legalized pot! A much simpler concept than you ever imagined.
The state of Colorado has opened a Pandora’s Box that can easily lead to proliferation. Through conventional logic, there is no immediate concern about legalized cocaine, prostitution, or weapons of war. But once a Pandora’s Box is opened, Satan has a field day and temptation runs wild; all I am saying is be prepared for disaster. If the day ever comes where recreational marijuana is legal in all fifty states, put up a sign on the front door of America reading, CLOSED—ALL GONE NUTS!