The New Reefer Madness

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I may be an old prude, but I just cannot approve of marijuana. I remember a long time ago in the 1970’s when so many people I knew used this stuff on an almost daily basis. They could barely remember anything they did the day before, they were not in touch with reality at all, and worse they just simply could not concentrate on operating machinery, driving a car, or even trying to do simple college homework. A number of states have voted to not only make marijuana a medical substance for “medical use,” but also for “recreational use.” There are many problems with this substance; it may not be highly addictive, but yes it is addictive enough just like tobacco and alcohol. Those people I knew who used it NEVER said that they could stop using it anytime they wanted to. That never happens. Second, I have talked with many police officers who have told me in their experience that this substance is hard to detect on any drivers who may be under its influence (unlike alcohol), and that it IS addictive enough that they do catch—whenever they catch anyone—having used it.repeatedly.

Now I hear of those who believe that the growing marijuana industry is the thing to invest in. May be it is the thing to invest in, but I have no desire to invest in it or want to be a part of. For those people where marijuana is now legal in one capacity or another, they will no doubt either invest in such companies or start up one of their own. At present, there are two types of marijuana businesses. One is for smoking and the other is edible marijuana. Both are mostly for medical conditions, but in some states it will be for recreation. But in my view there are still too many aspects of marijuana that are not being looked at for how it impacts peoples’ health and how it may fully impact society. What certain state governments are trying to do is make marijuana legal so they can regulate this drug just like alcohol and tobacco (and in Nevada with prostitution). Besides, these states are looking to benefit from the revenue that will be made from the legal sales of marijuana. It seems like a win-win situation……….except for what it does to peoples’ health and what it might do to the fabric of society. Of course, there is the federal government’s position which has made it clear that marijuana is illegal and it will not tolerate it. But my perspective is what it will do to peoples’ health and how it will affect not only individuals but also their families, friends and neighbors. As I do not encourage use of tobacco and too much alcohol, I certainly do not encourage marijuana.

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