Pubdate: Mon, 01 Nov 2010
Source: Arbiter, The (Boise State, ID Edu)
Copyright: 2010 The Arbiter
Author: Jana Hoffman
Bookmark: (Proposition 19)


Tweet that inspired this week's column: 420list Billionaire George
Soros supports Proposition 19; Gives 1 million

On election day, California may become the first state in the union to
legalize recreational marijuana use. If passed, Proposition 19 will
allow residents 21 years or older to possess up to 1 ounce of pot,
which they can smoke at home or in licensed establishments.

Supporters of Proposition 19 claim that legalization would generate
revenue, cut funding to drug cartels and stop the unjust arrests of
otherwise law-abiding citizens. So, what's not to love?

Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana has huge negative
implications for youth

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that Americans
use tobacco and alcohol at notably higher rates than marijuana, the
country's most commonly abused illicit drug. This finding is also true
among underage youth, indicating that young people are more likely to
abuse legal, regulated substances. The reasoning behind this is simple.

If kids know their parents can run down to a smoke shop and score a
bag, they will have every reason to minimize the effects of smoking a
joint every once in a while, or even every day. Proposition 19
excludes recreational use in the presence of minors, but nobody is
going to be knocking down the door to enforce that one.

With high school graduation rates at an all time low, adding one more
legal downer to the mix will only exacerbate the situation. Studies
show that smoking pot reduces cognitive function in the brain. Pot
makes people dumb. Dumb people have a hard time focusing at school.

Legalizing pot won't stop drug cartels

Proponents of Proposition 19 say it will curb the violence of drug
cartels. Essentially, by legalizing marijuana, California would
"cut-off" funding to the the dangerous thugs across the border.

Career criminals are devoted to their lines of work, just like the
rest of us. They are resourceful in their endeavors. With or without
cannabis, drug cartels will still have plenty of lucrative, illegal
products to work with.

The bad guys will just refocus their efforts to push more of the other
unsavory narcotics across the border. California will see a rise in
sale and abuse of drugs like cocaine and heroin. Heck, opium could
very easily become the new pot.

Medicinal: yes. Recreational: no

Marijuana use should be regulated like other drugs on the
pharmaceutical market -- not touted as a way to have fun. Marijuana
impairs the mind.

People should have access to pharmaceuticals and herbs proven to
safely alleviate pain or bring healing to the body. Research indicates
that cannabis can help those suffering from glaucoma, migraines and
nausea. For some people, the benefits of pot outweigh any debatable
risks. Individuals with documented health issues should have access to
the drug. Those who use it for medicinal purposes, in turn, should set
it aside when its use is no longer medically necessary.

Pot may not cause reefer madness, but it is a mind-altering drug. When
smoked recreationally, its sole purpose is to make the user high.
Government approval of a narcotic substance for recreational purpose
sends the wrong message -- especially to kids.

Narcotic drugs have their necessary place in society -- to alleviate
pain in order improve quality of life. Using drugs to escape, robs
individuals of experiencing life to its fullest measure. The legality
of marijuana should be based on science and scrutinized in light of
the way the United States regulates other drugs in the country.  
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