Marijuana Legalization: It Will Not Help Our Youth

Teens-With-Beer-And-Marijuana-Summit-Behavioral-HealthDavid Brooks, wrote a column telling how he used marijuana and suggested the adoption of laws allowing it to be sold recreationally was unwise. The trenders made widespread attacks distorting his position. The gist of his article was the people who did not get hooked on marijuana contributed more to society than those who did; and, by legalizing it the state encourages its use.

That is how I look at it. When marijuana use becomes legal then society will suffer because those in their teenage years will find no stigma attached to its use and become more exposed to it.  Hopefully, the parents of these pre-teens and teenagers will avoid their recreational use of it in front of their kids. How likely will that be?

Some suggest it is no worse than alcohol: I’d just say it seems unwise to impose a wrong on people because there may be another wrong. Being wise to alcohol I know one or two drinks for most people has no effect, however from what I can see one joint may.

A good article on the matter by Matt Schiavenza notes how Asian countries aren’t likely to legalize it any time soon. I have noted how the Asian students in America have become the cream of the crop at all the top schools. I would suggest it is no coincidence that a respected psychiatry journal reports: “Asian-Americans had the highest prevalence of perceived parental or close friends’ CU [cannabis use] disapproval.”

My personal experience has shown me that the kids I knew who used marijuana did less well in school than those who avoided its use. A couple of youngsters I knew were doing very well in school until they got involved with it. There are never going to be any statistics to show its adverse affects in the sense that Child A would have been at the top of her class if she had not started smoking grass. Some things can never be shown. Ask any responsible and caring parent if she would like to see her son or daughter using marijuana while a teenager I would have to guess you would receive a resounding negative answer.

I understand that we do not want to be dictating to others how they should live their personal lives. We do though. We outlaw smoking in restaurants and offices. We outlaw riding on motorcycles without helmets or in automobiles without seat belts. We require infants to ride backwards in cars and young children to be confined to special enclosures called safety seats. It would seem we would also want to continue to outlaw marijuana because its use inhibits the ability of some teenagers to achieve their best results in school.

Schiavenza suggests that the “central argument in favor of legalization: [is that] The current system, in which people who buy, sell, and use marijuana are subject to imprisonment, poses a far greater cost to society than pot itself ever could. And the disproportional effect of our marijuana laws on minorities and the poor only makes this argument stronger.”

There are other ways to address those issue. One way is to make most marijuana transactions civil wrongs, as opposed to criminal. That fits well into my idea that most actions now deemed crimes should be civil offenses.

As far as its disproportional effect on minorities and poor, I assume that suggests that the incarceration rate among them is higher than others. Make it a civil offense and that is no longer the case.

Matt Schiavenza wrote that “As the American competition with China intensifies over the next years and decades, the United States will be forced to confront weaknesses such as income inequality, unemployment, student debt, and high imprisonment. Marijuana use just isn’t one of them.”

I suggest that he is wrong on that. The more we make marijuana available to our people the less will be our ability to deal with those weaknesses. Increased marijuana use is not going to make us a more productive society.

Those who have read Huckley’s Brave New World cannot help to recall the soma pill. I picture marijuana as something like that. In the novel “The citizens of the “World State” have been conditioned to love the drug, and they use it to escape any momentary bouts of dissatisfaction. The problem, as one character identifies, is that the citizens are essentially enslaved by the drug and turned into mindless drones.”

David Brooks noted: “The deeper sources of happiness usually involve a state of going somewhere, becoming better at something, learning more about something, overcoming difficulty and experiencing a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.” Marijuana deprives one of that type happiness.

We have an obligation to our youth. The American College of Pediatricians noted last month that legalization “has already raised rates of unintended marijuana exposure among young children, and may increase adolescent use. They state that its use is detrimental to children and explain why.

Some groups who have studied this issue say  the use of marijuana among high school students has decreased, and in some cases significantly. (I can’t help wonder who funds them.) I guess the conclusion from those studies is the way to cut down on marijuana use is to make it more available. You are supposed to believe it was the criminalization that drove up the use, sort of like during Prohibition Days with alcohol, and that by taking the sting away from its use made people use it less. Believe what you want but expecting a child at Halloween to eat less candy due to its widespread availability is something I find hard to accept.

I guess it boils down to the belief that the mind is a wonderful thing. Marijuana use does little to improve it. It is best to keep the stigma on its use in the hope that it will send a message to our youth that it should be avoided.

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “Marijuana Legalization: It Will Not Help Our Youth

  1. 1. Weed these days is far more potent than in the ’70s, so look out!!
    2. I believe weed is especially harmful to those with undeveloped brains, which I believe means anyone under age 25. This makes me worry greatly about someone close to us, a great pitcher in Little League days, who has gone from using weed once every weekend night to twice every day! He’s had enough strikes against him as it is, with a host of issues since birth, according to his parents. When it’s time for him to graduate from high school and work, he’ll struggle big-time to find even a basic job.
    3. How does he have the money to buy weed? From the parents! It’s a struggle for them just to have their son living with them, never mind acceding to his weekly demands for weed money. But they say they’re tired of having him in and out of court-ordered residential treatment centers, and they continue to search for the best way to handle the situation. (My take: He will end up outside the home permanently.).
    4. Turns out that son’s weed connection is his best pal, whose dad drives the son to the local dealers’ house to do the deals!!! Recently after a deal, the dad was stopped by two police cars. Officers had been watching the house, suspecting drug activity. Somehow the dad made up some story and was let go. Guess this what parents do these days…

  2. From my science reading I’ve learned: (1) Chronic marijuana use by teenagers causes subtle psychiatric symptoms, an Amotivational Syndrome (school grades decline, participation in sports and clubs lessens, and ambition wanes) and (2) chronic teenage use results in an irreversible loss of IQ (on average 8 points off their IQ tests for chronic users; the loss is not reversed upon cessation as an adult.)
    The civil fine approach is best with one exception: Continue to criminalize the sale or distribution to minors by adults.
    Adults caught smoking grass in public, mandatory fine a hefty $1000. Keep our parks and public spaces free of smoke. Minors in possession fine a mandatory minimum of $500.

  3. Live and let Live. Try and look into Charlotte’s Web THC oil and what it is doing for small children and seizures. I have used both alcohol and marijuana. Alcohol is a much more dangerous drug in my opinion. Marijuana is stronger or more pure because it is not being grown or sprayed with chemichals that are deadly. It has also done a pretty good job with weaning people off opiates, which is a real dangerous drug, but needed for people with chronic debilitating quality of life diseases. Kids will get weed, it has been around and will always be around. I am for regulating it, like booze, having a sister who suffers from MS and a father who died of Leukemia, i know what marijuana can do for very sick people.

  4. Also am against public use of it. Privacy of own home is when it should be consumed, only my opinion.

  5. I agree with Doubting Thomas on the medical level, and in the privacy of your own home.

    I would say that Colorado does not regret it’s decision to legalize.
    MA could learn a thing or two from them.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/212305/

    PS. I want to know Ernie Boch’ III’s stance on this issue.

  6. I believe that comparison of the effects of THC with the effects of alcohol and/or tobacco is a smoke screen.
    I recall reading studies showing that THC degrades reaction time, processing speed and depth perception, abilities vital to the safe operation of automobiles and other machinery. . THC is stored to body fat and slow releases over a period of 3-4 weeks. So if one is stoned by today’s use one’s mental abilities (above) will continue to be reduced to a progressively lesser extent for 3-4 weeks. In my opinion, this presents an unacceptable risk to the user and to passengers and fellow travelers as well.
    As dangerous as a DUI is, she can at least sober up and drive safely in one day.
    Unfortunately, there are no available tests to determine how stoned a THC user is.
    Therefore it seems to me that the first priority should be to develop such tests. Then
    people who choose to use THC would forfeit their driver’s licence and any other relevant license for a period of not less than one month. Add mandatory testing and “two strikes and you’re out, for life”. Welcome to Scandinavia, Dude!

    1. ED:

      Good information. Thanks. The public is supposed to close its eyes to all information like you have set out and vote with its heart and not its brain. Its heart tells it that we should not be telling others people what to do. Yet these same people though had no trouble kicking smokers out of public places and restaurants. The theory behind their rants against second-hand smoke was that the smoker was causing them injury.
      I don’t understand how a state can discourage tobacco use while condoning the use of marijuana.

  7. Bush Ranger

    Bush Ranger, Bush Ranger, what ridge do you roam?

    Law dogs come a call’in and you ain’t at home.

    Hear the hounds bay’in, hard on your trail.

    They’ll slather and snap til you flee Caesar’s pale.

    From mountains to prairies to islands in seas

    Break ground with a pick, lay line on your knees.

    Bring the sweet water from bubbling springs

    to bathe green babies and see sprouting wings.

    Flowers appear in the late summer sun,

    auguring rewards in days almost come.

    Layering blossoms build the great buds,

    sticky and fragrant with crystals of love.

    Late in the evening on a new moon’s fall night,

    feet pad through shadows pierced by flashlights.

    Not a word is spoken as the plants are shorn,

    lightened of the harvest for which they were born

    Bush Ranger, Bush Ranger, what ridge do you roam?

    Law dogs come a call’in and you ain’t at home.

    With shovels and buckets and pockets of seeds

    you’re a sowing the wide world with Solomon’s weed.

  8. Contrary to the Hollywood version of Prohibition alcohol consumption declined massively during the Noble Experiment. After the repeal it took more than sixty years for consumption to again recover former levels. As a sidebar it should be noted that most hygiene laws governing the serving of food are a rooted in legislation passed to placate the Drys after repeal. You can in no small part thank the Eighteenth Amendment for not frequently getting diarrhea when dining out.

    1. Tadzio:

      Interesting comment. I always thought it was the opposite and the consumption of alcohol went up during prohibition. I will have to look into that. One thing though I know that went up was the influence of gangsters so are you suggesting with the legalization of marijuana the crime rate among gangsters will decline. I’m also unaware of the connection between the repeal of prohibition and the institution of laws governing food. Again I will want to check thta.

  9. Mendo Chistka

    “Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity?”
    (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago Vol. I. p.3.)

    Heads up! Satanville homies! If you pull together, and, practice omerta, you might side-step the in-coming bad weather, or, at least, mitigate its worst effects. It’s probably too late to do anything about phone traffic patterns. The first wave of people indicted, have to hang tight, no one can roll. If they hold their mud, the feds won’t get the necessary corroborating evidence to continue their purge. It will be rough on those who get caught up. They will need community support, both encouragement not to cave, and, financial assistance.
    When, and, if, the “G” is blocked, the feds will get mean, and, put the wood to whoever won’t roll. Phone taps and pen registers, alone, can’t sustain their cases. It’s crucial for them to flip enough people to keep their prosecutorial machine grinding along. Soon, their inquisitive attention will illuminate Satanville’s true character in the same manner that light defines the shape of an object. If everyone thinks only of themselves, of doing time and/or losing their stuff, the game will be lost before it’s begun. Those that steadfastly hold up under pressure, risk losing everything, … except their souls.
    Satanville is the reification of a collective consciousness. It is thought made real, aggregate mental energies instantiating a flesh and blood community based on the idealism of the late sixties, and, sustained by anarcho-capitalist illegalism. Over the last couple of years, there has been an absurd rush to “become white,” “get legal,” and metamorphose into peti- bourgeois country squires, this has led directly to the current legal malaise. There is no getting legal. Satanville exists beyond the law. Anarchistic outlawry is the public expression of its raison detre. Illegalism is the communal confession. All notions to the contrary, are self-deceiving. It is a genuinely anti-structural environment.
    Anti-structure precedes all form. It is the creative cusp between now and next from which all ideas emanate. It’s the peak of an acid trip, the stage at which everything becomes possible, rendering all codes of conduct plastic as play-do. Anti-structural environments are inherently unstable; absence of structure begs structure. Minds form these future structures from re-combined bits and pieces of past experience, hence, the unfortunate palimpsestic re-assertion of the bourgeois attitude, representing, ironically, the very ideology the old-time new-comers were seeking to escape.
    Satanville isn’t just a physical location; it’s a state of mind. But, can it last? Can anywhere, or, anyone, bear the weight of such bedizened dreamings? Perhaps, the vision has proved too unpredictable, too frightening, too heavy, for earnest hippie kulaks yearning the lost comfort of their chains. “Honest, Mister Man from Uncle, it was all just a shimmering mirage…. “
    Great Preston’s ghost! Gang! All for one, and, one for all. Hang together, or, hang alone.
    Pugachev
    .

    1. Khalid:

      The Solzhenitsyn quote is worth repeating: “Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity?”
      (Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago Vol. I. p.3.)

      I say that because his arrest was a real arrest – one with consequences. The arrest of the Satinvillers have been picnics: a short ride to a lockup in plastic retraints – a quick court appearance, if that – and release to go back to Satanville. I sense were those Satanvillers to face real consequences the would be unable to cope and the idea of any type of omerta is misplaced; there would be a rush to cooperate to get back to Satanville.

      1. Where there’s gub-mint cheese, there’s rats. Can’t argue with that.

        There’s plenty of people banked for good who never tell. I think it has a lot to do with where someone grows up. Bourgeois pups generally roll. Neighborhood guys, not so much. After all, there’s no place like home.

  10. Bobo Dread, clean-face, combsmen, all scuffling sufferahs, shaded by the mane of the Lion of Judah, revere King Solomon, and, believe he derived his awesome intellectual powers from constant ganga smoking. If you don’t think Solomon stayed sharp pulling on a chillum, think about that split the baby trip. Solomon had it going on upstairs

  11. Have you ever been to the Infernal Regions? Even if you don’t smoke weed you, can always circuit the drive-through tree. There’s a brimstone quarry and some sulphur springs up on Iron Pk. You just take a left off northbound 101 onto Spyrock Rd. All the best attractions (don’t miss a visit to Preston’s cabin) are about half-way to the Eel. Keep on going up, until you go down. Then, you’ve gone too far. Turn around. Look for the fire tower at the crest of the peak. Never go straight, always go forward. You’re almost there.

  12. “Some suggest it is no worse than alcohol: I’d just say it seems unwise to impose a wrong on people because there may be another wrong. Being wise to alcohol I know one or two drinks for most people has no effect, however from what I can see one joint may.”

    True, a person can drink 1 beer and not be drunk, but smoke 1 joint and be high. But a person can also drink 20 beers and die from alcohol poisoning, and a person can smoke 20 joints in a day and he/she will not. They will just be really hungry and tired.

  13. My partner and I stumbled over here by a different web address and thought I may as well check
    things out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to checking out your web page repeatedly.

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