If you watch any of the major news networks then you have no doubt seen the coverage of Colorado legalizing marijuana. The debates consist mostly of why should it be legal, what will it lead to and how bad it is. Many of the talking heads say that they are ‘concerned’ about what it will do to our children. Will it be easier for them to get a hold of it? They will often give examples of a child who ate a pot laced cookie and had to be hospitalized, or something along those lines. They will talk about how addictive it is and give examples of how peoples lives have been ruined by it. So is it a good thing or a bad thing?
I personally don’t use marijuana, but find my self arguing for the legalization of it. People are going to get their hands on it whether it is legal or not. Will dealers buy the product from dispensaries and deal it out? Absolutely. Will it take a chunk out of the black market sales? I think so. I think its something like 50,000+ people have died in Mexico due to drug cartels and the drug trade. Who is their #1 customer? The United States. Obviously the cartels aren’t only dealing in marijuana (cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs) but I think this will help in the never ending war on drugs, by at least cutting off or diminishing one revenue stream for them. Currently the legal marijuana is more expensive than black market, so the law makers will have to find a way to make it more competitive to bring in more customers.
Is it addictive? Absolutely. So is gambling, alcohol, sex, tobacco, video gaming, eating, working out, tanning, working, watching tv, the internet, caffeine, shopping, money, hell even pop music. Not all of these are bad in moderation, but in excess many if not most of these could potentially be bad for your health. Most people don’t drink themselves to death, but there are some who get addicted. Most people don’t eat, or not eat, til they die, but some get disorders and either eat to much or to little. Most people don’t gamble their life savings away, but some have a problem calling it quits at the appropriate time. Some people will most definitely become addicted to marijuana and if that happens they will need to get help like anyone who becomes addicted to something, whether its alcohol, gambling, eating, etc.
Children will have more access to it. This is probably the hardest thing to argue, because yes some may gain easier access to marijuana. Then again most people who drink alcohol probably aren’t locking away their booze in a safe so that their children won’t have access to it. Yes there are occasions where children get access to and drink alcohol, and there will undoubtedly be instances where they will use marijuana. Both of these are illegal, and who ever is in charge, or responsible should be prosecuted. The instances of children using legal drugs in pill form has also shot through the roof in recent years. Parents or whomever is using marijuana, alcohol, pills need to be responsible. If they aren’t they face jail time, as well they should.
In the end only time will tell how Colorado’s experiment goes, and whether or not it is good or bad. But if it gives the country a little extra tax money (that we won’t apply to the deficit and probably squander, but that’s for another time) and takes money from illegal drug traffickers like cartels and the black market then, early on at least, I think it could be a good thing.