"Garden of Weedin'," William Breathes, November 1
I am a retired teacher who remembers subbing back in the late '70s in Lakewood. There were a lot of stoned students then, there are lots of stoned students now, and when [marijuana is] legalized, there will be a lot of stoned students in the future of Colorado.
About six years ago I flew to Amsterdam, and I sat next to a young lady in her twenties who was in high school when pot became legal in the Netherlands. She said the first year or two, everyone was doing it, but by the time they got to be seniors, it had become a snore. It's human nature that what we consider exciting is what our parents don't want us to do.
However, I've seen another European country have a much saner approach. In Spain it is legal for adults to grow up to five plants a year for their personal use; what is sold is soil and seeds. I find this involves less money that goes to the middlemen and allows you to do your own quality control. The United States would never allow such an intelligent rule, as there is money to be made for the government and private individuals.
That said, in both Spain and the Netherlands, public transportation rules. Driving stoned is not a good idea in the U.S., and DUI rules would have to be enforced. But incarcerating young people for just smoking pot, and ruining their financial future, is odious also. I would also like to see our neighbor, Mexico, not have to pay for our drug habits.
Incidentally, my husband has had scoliosis since a child, and his resulting spinal stenosis causes him to use marijuana for pain management. I am grateful that the people of Colorado had the vision to allow medical marijuana.
Governor John Hickenlooper: "Amendment 64 has the potential to increase the number of children using drugs and would detract from efforts to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. It sends the wrong message to kids that drugs are okay."
This statement really just goes to show how out of touch Mr. Hickenlooper is with reality. The only reason that children might think that drugs are okay would be the continued reported fatalities associated with alcohol and existing pills that are sanctioned by our state and federal government. Why would synthetic marijuana be pursued by Big Pharma if there were no benefits for its consumption? The past ten years have given the state of Colorado a track record that can dispel the myth that there would be an increase in the use of marijuana by children; in fact, it has decreased.
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My biggest personal concern regarding state legalization of marijuana would be that testing for DUI or driving with marijuana in your system has not really been addressed. My hope here is that pro-marijuana activists like Mason Tvert continue the fight for reasonable reform, because there would, without a doubt, be an increase in arrests pertaining to DUID for an individual who smoked or ingested marijuana perhaps weeks prior to driving, and would technically still be over any current statute of zero tolerance.
Nonetheless, it's way past time for the current laws to be addressed and changed.
Posted at westword.com