Pubdate: Wed, 14 Oct 2015
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2015 Asbury Park Press
Author: Lawrence S. Katz


Can we be optimistic about New Jersey's future if Democratic 
legislators care more about potential tax revenue than the dangers in 
legalizing recreational marijuana? This state's drug epidemic is 
severe enough without further enticing the young, poor and uninformed 
with a "gateway drug" to heroin addiction.

Yet, in spite of denials, those promoting marijuana for medical use 
are also encouraging legalization for pleasure. The potential 
consequences are dire. How can we discourage experimentation or usage 
by the young if liberal politicians proclaim it legal and safe.

Legalization in some states has encouraged greedy entrepreneurs to 
produce and market marijuana-laced candy bars and snacks. It's no 
secret that they are deliberately targeting the young.

Ironically, the governor of Colorado now believes legalization was a 
mistake. The amount envisioned by taxation is far below predictions. 
Their law enforcement authorities report 28 percent of recent 
automobile accidents were attributable to marijuana usage. Traveling 
on New Jersey roads is bad enough with drivers texting or on cell 
phones. Imagine, the prospect of adding those on high from marijuana use.

Estimates are that legalization will generate a multibillion dollar 
bonanza for growers, domestic manufacturers and drug cartels. Surely, 
this will encourage a new class of lobbyists to further increase 
pressure on the liberal left.

Are we being faithful to our children, grandchildren and future 
generations if we stand mute about the potential dangers of this 
legislation. Fortunately, Gov. Chris Christie is standing firm 
against politicians who see dollar signs more important than our 
children's future.

Lawrence S. Katz

Tinton Falls
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