Mary Jane. Weed. Pot. Indo. Cannabis. “Medical” marijuana.
Whatever one wants to call it, marijuana is a serious drug that has been causing Colorado nothing but problems since its legalization one year ago. Proponents of Amendment 64 argued that legalizing marijuana would do great things, from keeping DEA costs down to helping curb the huge marijuana industry in Mexico. The impact marijuana legalization has had on society seems to be proving otherwise.
The legalization of marijuana has created nothing but a long list of problems, including issues with marijuana not being taxed properly and other regulation issues such as how to monitor and assess penalties on driving while under the influence.
People living in Colorado neighborhoods are complaining about the stench of marijuana coming from pot houses, dispensaries, and the casual smoker passing by.
Furthermore, legalization has created other problems with effects that have yet to be measured. Local hospitals are seeing a surge in drug-related ER visits due to children of marijuana users consuming large quantities of the THC-laden “treats” to the point of comatose.
Statistics indicate that young adults are experimenting with marijuana before the age of twelve. In a young person’s mind, legal equates to being acceptable and “good for you.” This mentality is very dangerous and can lead to overdosing, abuse of the drug, and violent behaviors. This is because users who believe they are in the right are less likely to control their addiction or to seek help.
Contrary to popular belief, THC, the chemical found in marijuana—like any other drug—is addictive. Families fall apart when a family member’s excessive marijuana usage becomes a problem. Before legalization, families had hope because they were confronting a valid “drug problem” that required treatment, but with legalization, users can now use the law to justify their addiction and their irresponsible behavior.
Employers are faced with sensitive issues regarding “medical marijuana” and its usage by employees. Should employees be allowed to work while high simply because they have a medical card? What makes marijuana “okay” compared to alcohol, cocaine, or heroine? According to OSHA, employers have a duty to provide a safe work environment for their employees, but legalization has just made this duty much more complicated for employers.
Schools also are having a hard time enforcing “drug-free” zones because students believe that legal means acceptable; they see no harm in bringing marijuana to school.
And what about the drug industry in Mexico? The marijuana industry is benefiting tremendously from legalization. The only thing legalization did for the industry was help the cartels get more creative and protect the people involved in the industry.
All Coloradans know the real reason behind legalization: to allow drug users a gateway to get high freely. Otherwise, marijuana would be used in its THC-free form for medical matters only.
Currently, Colorado is trying to pass a Proposition that would allow the government to collect taxes from marijuana sales and use that for rehabilitation and programs to help addicts. Doesn’t this put Colorado back to square one? Enabling one’s addiction and then using the taxes to help rehabilitate him or her sounds quite contradictory. Many people argue that legalizing marijuana has burdened lawmakers and Coloradans, and that this is only the beginning of the undesirable and unforeseen consequences marijuana legalization will have on society.