The news this week has been filled with reports about marijuana changing from an illegal (gateway) drug into a legal, free-access, recreational drug available to anyone with the money to buy it. Tomorrow we increase the speed of our national decline.
The government sees marijuana as a tax source in hard times. I personally think they are moving rapidly in this legality direction because of the high costs of policing, prosecuting, and imprisoning those who violated the laws about marijuana. It seems the lowest dealers and users on the totem pole of the black market were the only ones getting caught.
The government won't tell you it is struggling to survive, but I think it is.
One news report I listened to stated the local authorities were still trying to create the legal details for its sales... and planning to treat it like alcohol sales. The only rebuttal to restricted hours for its sales was a 24-hour shop owner that talked about having to let the graveyard staff of two go, about how more alcohol is sold at night so there would probably be more sales of marijuana at night as well -- because people often use them together, and that 50% of his income would be lost with the planned restrictions.
No one seems to see the long-term effects, the high costs associated with addictive drugs, the devastation it will bring into our lives as a nation, as states, and as communities. I think it is safe to say our young people will be ravaged more than any other group, but we still have hippies from the 1960's involved in using marijuana. Our young people won't even think about the dangers of this drug and the ones it leads to, because we have told them marijuana is no worse than alcohol by making it just another product to buy at the store.
Will it get rid of the "black market" surrounding illegal things? Not really. Minors will still have to buy it illegally. It will be easier to get, though. And who will care? I'm not sure. It depends on the financial health of our counties, states, and federal policing agencies.
Alcohol is already bad enough as a legal drug. We tried to take back the legality of alcohol, but it didn't work. Now marijuana is joining that process. The last I heard, the marijuana being made today is much more potent than anything from the 1960's, when I was a teen. The anti-establishment media cry in my youth, which was during the "sexual revolution," was "sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll." Who started that theology anyway?! It wasn't a woman. It was probably someone who was making money off its foolish victims.
Staying away from the fumes will be impossible for recovering addicts. For a society that campaigns against tobacco with so much fervor, it is strange how smoking marijuana isn't getting all that negative attention. Maybe because the bad effects of marijuana aren't fully known yet... or maybe they are being hidden, overlooked, covered up.
I have been amazed at how quickly this change occurred. I never thought rational voters would ever legalize something that was being called a medicine but not being manufactured like a medicine. Now it has gone from medical uses to recreational uses. In some ways this is part of the unfolding destruction of the US. When the results of increased addictions, and the mayhem that addictions create, begin to cost more in taxes than the sales bring in, government will begin to feel the weight of their actions... but, of course, there will be a whole new group of legislators in office. It will be their problem.
I don't know if my life will be affected deeply by this change in perspective... I don't indulge in a lot of recreational drugs, or alcohol... but I don't have to be a user of drugs to have my life devastated by them. I hope I won't be around for the consequences of this change.