Pubdate: Sat, 12 May 2012
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
Copyright: 2012 Summit Daily News
Author: Xander Vinogradov


I am what some would call a typical Summit County guy. I am a young 
male, enjoy the outdoors, drive a Subaru and even own a dog. I am, 
however, separated from my demographic by one major difference of 
opinion: I am against legalization of marijuana. Other young 
Coloradans coat themselves with rasta colors, stick a blunt in their 
mouth and hurry to their nearest street corner in stoned pursuit to 
legalize marijuana without ever stopping to realize what a good thing 
keeping marijuana illegal is. I think marijuana should remain illegal 
for three reasons.

First, money. A person purchases marijuana from a friend every two 
weeks or so. In addition to a person receiving a high-quality 
product, the friend earns extra income in exchange for extra work. As 
marijuana climbs higher up the legal ladder, the government makes 
more money on taxing the product. With taxes come less income for the 
Summit County grower and higher prices for the buyer. Why introduce 
the hand of the government into an already seamless business transaction?

Second, children. Young people have far more exposure to pot if they 
can open a newspaper and see an ad for a $300 ounce. Awareness 
precedes action; as more young people know about and become 
comfortable around marijuana, more young people will use marijuana. 
Youth should grow up learning that smoking pot has negative health 
and social effects (which it does), and then make a decision as an 
adult whether to refuse marijuana or use marijuana and accept the 
consequences. Children should not grow up thinking pot is a regular 
and acceptable component of their society.

Third, reputation. A recent study by the Department of Health and 
Human Services listed Colorado as the second highest (behind District 
of Columbia) drug-using state in the US at 10.9 percent of the 
population. Simultaneously, pot leaves occupy Colorado flags, bumper 
stickers and body art, funneling statistics into a statewide culture. 
Marijuana culture, however, is not as sexy as Coloradans think it is. 
The reality is our great state is becoming widely known as one of the 
top states in the nation for drug use, replacing our previous titles 
as healthiest, sunniest, and least-populated states in the US. Does 
that sound like a victory to you?

For all you rasta-wearing blunt smokers out there, I welcome your 
feedback on the issue. Chances are, we share this great state for 
many of the same reasons. Perhaps I am overlooking something. Or 
perhaps you are.

Xander Vinogradov

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