Saturday, July 11, 2015

Should we legalize marijuana?

I've been following a discussion on Facebook for some time.  It's a controversial topic that is making its way around the country with some states already having acted on it.  The issue is the legalization of marijuana.

Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have already legalized its use for recreational purposes with limits as to how much a person may possess.  Many other states, including Connecticut,  have legalized medical marijuana.

The majority of the people in the discussion I've been following support the legalization of recreational marijuana in CT.  The reasons many of them cite are that it would increase badly needed tax revenues to the state.  Plus,  since cigarettes and alcohol are legal, why not?

For the record I oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.  First, to suggest it would have  a significant impact on tax revenues is absurd.  We are not a state full of pot smokers.  Second, to justify it because alcohol and cigarettes is legal is equally absurd.  Alcohol is not addictive.  Certainly it is abused routinely but it is not addictive.  Drinking alcohol does not make a person an alcoholic.  There are other reasons for that.

Smoking cigarettes is in fact addictive but it does not have the mind-altering qualities of marijuana.  In addition enough is now known about the health risks of smoking that any reasonable adult would certainly choose not to do it.

The point is the jury is still out regarding whether or not marijuana leads to more serious drug use.  It definitely impairs judgement and it is definitely addictive.  Those are reason enough for me. 

Now, on that note, I do strongly believe it should be decriminalized.  That is, instead of sending a person to prison with murderers and rapists for smoking a little pot, there should be other ways to deal with the issue.  Treating a pothead like a hardened criminal is just as ridiculous as simply legalizing its use. 

Opposing views are invited.  I would be willing to  post a person's opinion as a guest blogger on this site. 


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