Monday, December 2, 2013

Rocky Mountain High

     It has been one year since the voters of Colorado chose to believe the arguments of the pro-marijuana crowd, and legalize the sale and use of that harmful drug. And after only one year, teen use has risen substantially in the state, traffic fatalities as a result of driving under the influence of marijuana have seen a forty percent increase, and there are more cannabis shops in Colorado than in Amsterdam. The Colorado experiment with legalized marijuana should be enough to convince any reasonable person that it is a practice that should be avoided in other states.
     The level of THC (the chemical in marijuana that produces the high and addiction) has gone from 3-4% 40 years ago to over 30% today. This has caused not only more addiction, but an almost epidemic rise of personality disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, especially in teens and young adults. So much so that there are now more young adults in drug treatment programs for marijuana use than all other drugs combined.
     The pro-marijuana crowd has always tried to convince the unsuspecting that marijuana is a harmless drug. One argument that they have trotted out from the stables of misleading statistics is the fact that persons under the influence of marijuana commit fewer violent crimes and cause fewer traffic fatalities than those under the influence of alcohol. But in using this statistic, the pot pushers conveniently omit the fact that alcohol is legal, and therefore is in much wider use than marijuana. This fact alone would cause a spike in crimes and traffic fatalities due to alcohol use. We see the proof of this theory at work in Colorado, where after making marijuana legal, a spike was seen in crimes and traffic fatalities caused, or at least involving, marijuana.
     Another tactic used by the pro-marijuana lobby is what they say are the drug's medical benefits to those suffering from any number of illnesses. This "argument" is just a shameless use of the sick to justify the recreational use of the drug. Marijuana's use as an elixir for the ill has been greatly exaggerated, and besides, its benefits in this area have been available for years in the prescription drug Marinol. For ninety five percent of the afflicted who would benefit from marijuana use, Marinol is a seamless substitute. With a quick perusal of the side effects of Marinol, which are often sited by the pro-marijuana crowd as a reason to legalize pot, one would quickly notice the striking similarity to the side effects of smoking marijuana. Not to mention the "gateway" qualities of marijuana, which the pro-marijuana crowd say are a myth. But while many who smoke marijuana never escalate to other drugs like heroine or crack, the vast majority of heroine and crack addicts have begun their journeys of addiction with marijuana use.
     In recent years, with the aid of fresh studies and millions of case histories, I have seen that marijuana is not some miracle substance that is at the same time a harmless recreational drug, and a powerful medicine that can relieve the symptoms of those suffering from serious illness. In my mind, the Colorado experiment has illustrated that any small benefit to society that legalization of marijuana may have, is obliterated by the deleterious effects the drug has on society at large, especially among the young. And the future of this great nation, and the continuation of liberty itself, depends on the lucidity of thought that is almost impossible with the use of marijuana.  

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