by Jim Edsall
Progressives, you have good intentions, not wanting people to be imprisoned for recreational use of marijuana (“pot”), which you see as a victimless crime. But to counter that you propose the wrong solution, advocating legalization. Legality is society’s imprimatur. It is society’s way of saying, “it’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with it, great, do your own thing, no harm-no foul.” But that is not true. There is harm.
First there is the smoke itself. You oppose cigarette smoking and declare the manufacturers evil because they produce an addictive product that causes lung cancer. Fine, but guess what, most pot is consumed by smoking. And it’s not even filtered. According to the American Lung Association, one “joint” of pot has four times more tar than any tobacco cigarette, not to mention thirty-three cancer causing chemicals. Yet, President Obama says pot is no more harmful than alcohol? Maybe that’s true, if you breathe some booze into your lungs.
Many claim pot is not a gateway drug. I say, “Poppycock”, which means, your statement is patently false (it is also a great munchie – popcorn covered in light golden caramel with pecans, cashews or peanuts – mmmm). Pot is habitual at its best, and addictive at its worst. It is just one of many ways to get high. I, and many teenage cohorts of mine, said of pot, “Hey, I liked that drug, let’s try another!” So, we did, and we often mixed in unhealthy quantities of alcohol. By God’s grace alone, I survived it.*
Stoned is the opposite of sharp. You are not at your best or most productive. I can attest from personal experience, and enough observation of friends to count as a clinical study, that pot blunted our motor skills, gave us artificial feelings of confidence and power, adversely affected our ability to concentrate, and made us inclined to simply lie around listening to music or jamming on our guitars.
You want kids to be sharp in school so you give them drugs that fight ADD and ADHD. But, then you legalize pot, making it far more accessible to kids, who then smoke it and come to class in a pot-induced haze. You recognize the dangers of impaired driving and support heavy sentences for DUI. Then you legalize pot and send even more impaired drivers out onto the streets risking other peoples’ lives (see “More Colorado Drivers in Fatal Crashes Positive for Pot, Study Says”, Denver Post, 5/15/14). How can you not see the inherent problems with this? Are you stoned or something?
You don’t have to legalize all pot use to keep people out of prison. Simply lighten the sentences to fines or community service. Prove you care about young peoples’ mental development and the safety of people on the road. Discourage the use of pot by keeping it illegal in most instances. Only legalize pot for medicinal purposes, in pre-cooked edibles or capsulized form, requiring a doctor’s prescription.
I am sure some potheads will hear of this former user’s change of heart and call me “Traitor”. Here’s my rejoinder: “Sharper”, “Clearer”, “Safer Driver”, “Got No Lung Cancer.” Let’s encourage people to get high on life, not on pot. Society will be better for it. And you will, too.
*Author’s Note: I could feel God drawing me to Him when I was age 20, the Good Shepherd seeking a lost sheep. I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, and the change in me was instantaneous and miraculous. I no longer desired any of the drugs I had used habitually. Instead, I was on the highest of highs being friends with the Creator of the universe! When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, you will become a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17 ), and you will be set free indeed ( John 8:36). If you are struggling with a drug habit or addiction, call out to Him. Ask Him to be Lord of your life. He will dwell with you, and you with Him, forever.