MARIJUANA—WORSE THAN YOU THINK
Legalization sounds like a good idea—until you dig deeper.
No need to guess what occurs when you legalize pot. Colorado and Washington, our guinea pig states, are back with reports--and most of what happens is bad.
According to “Triple A” (as in cars), the state of Washington has now seen a 50% increase in fatal accidents involving stoned drivers. Bad enough--but added to this, it’s currently impossible to conduct roadside sobriety tests for THC (as is done for alcohol). Thus, the degree of impairment is known only after blood tests. Also, even if limits could be set for safe, drug-lowered driving, marijuana affects different people in such different ways, a baseline acceptability would be hard to determine.
Also hard to determine is the amount of THC in any given batch (seldom known to the user.) “Some pot is so strong,” said one occasional smoker, “that a few hits leaves you with your head spinning. You can’t even function.”
Sixty Minutes (October 30), thoroughly documented the marijuana issues in Colorado. Supporters all believe legalization takes out the crooks. In Colorado, it didn’t, not even close. The bad guys flooded the state with illegal plants and sold their stuff at great profit outside the borders. The marijuana police, digging up plants, have been busier than ever.
Worse . . . the state’s emergency rooms have been busier than ever. Kids who gobble up brownies, cookies, and gummy bears with unknown quantities of THC, now end up in hospitals, their lives threatened.
We all know marijuana damages developing brains. In Colorado, pregnant mothers who smoke give birth to babies with THC in their systems. Pediatricians deduce these infected babies will have impaired mental development. “But marijuana is legal,” the mothers protest. “I thought it was safe to smoke.” Local doctors disagree. Vehemently.
We’ve heard all the arguments: kids will get marijuana whether it’s legal or not. True enough . . . But when parents smoke the stuff—legally—or ingest it in food, how likely can they keep it from their children? Illegality has its advantages.
Sixty Minutes laid a last, scary indictment against the drug. While, within a given time frame, alcohol entirely disappears from the human body, marijuana does not. Instead, it lodges in the “fat” cells, and particularly the brain, and there it stays—length of residence unknown.
As Orange County Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, protested in a letter to the Orange County Register, Why are we choosing increased tax revenue over the brains of our children?
P.S. Medical marijuana is in a different category, and its importance and usefulness is not at issue in this article.