Getting “Into the Weeds”

On March 31st, New York joined 15 other states to legalize Marijuana for recreational use. Now, call me old fashioned or maybe I haven’t fully grasped all the ramifications of having marijuana freely flowing through my state, but the idea of having a mind-altering drug being readily accessible to anyone who wants it as long as they have met the age requirement, is “a hard pill to swallow.”

Now listen, Marijuana for medicinal purposes I fully support and that has been legal in New York since July 2014. But, I find it hard to accept that soon New Yorkers 21 years and older may be able to legally grow it in their backyards, just as they do other vegetables and spices, conveniently have it delivered to their doorsteps, or gather in “consumption lounges” or other public places to “recreationally” consume a drug that was once, and in some states still, considered harmful?

Sure I’ve heard the arguments about personal freedoms and the right to choose whether or not to get high, reduction in drug related crime due to less prosecutions, increased safety regulations, and yes the $7 billion industry to be gained once it’s fully established. Yes I’ve heard the comparisons to the alcohol industry and how “well” that turned out. Yes, I’ve heard them all over and over again, but this “if we can’t beat them them then let’s join them and while we’re at it let’s make some money attitude” does not sit well with me.

And what about the social implications? Will this legitimization be worth the price we might have to pay someday? Increased addictions, anxiety, paranoia and illnesses are just some of the things we will have to contend with. What is the message we are sending to our youths anyway? Already they are facing too many issues in today’s society. Do we really need to complicate it with the legalization of a drug that is already way too over abused that has been proven to impact our reasoning, our judgement and ultimately our behaviors? Besides isn’t it just plain morally wrong? What do you think?

27 thoughts on “Getting “Into the Weeds”

  1. I am in agreement with you Jan. Sounds liberating, but scary for varied reasons.

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  2. I agree with you, back home where Marijuana has only reached the stage that it has been “Decriminalized” seems to be a misnomer!

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  3. Another controversial topic with good arguments on both sides. Personally, I think it’s a safer option for meth addicts if they can make that transition. I do fear it could be a gateway drug for other innocent youth. However, I agree kids should not have their lives ruined by a criminal record secondary to possession of a relatively benign drug. Hoping for the best.

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    1. Yes, it’s a complex topic and I hear you. My problem is with the marketing of it. It just feels wrong to be trying to make money while endangering our welfare especially that of the weak impressionable ones among us. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Gordon to be honest, I wouldn’t even mind if they “decriminalized” it. But please don’t make it okay for kids to smoke it morning noon and night and also make it readily accessible to them. Commercializing it means they plan to make it more attractive so they can sell more of it.

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  5. I’m a little leary of it too and I don’t even live in NY. But other states will follow suit amd yes, it does feel wrong. As a teenager, I smoked a lot of weed back in the 80s and one thing I can say is that it makes you lazy! It also gave me the munchies. Although I was the type that could eat like a horse and not gain a pound back then, it will cause many people to pile on the weight and, as a result, have heart and blood pressure issues later. It just isn’t healthy. Not to mention the psychological issues that you mentioned. Great post, Jan!

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  6. Thanks so much for your comments, Cherie. Can you imagine a country full of people lazy on marijuana? You are so right on the health issue; seems these are all things they’re not seeing right now since they are all blinded by the $$$ signs.

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  7. I can tell you stories about students I went to high school with and what it did to them. I see the destructive patterns in lives of people close to me right now – sadly they don’t think it’s a big deal. Until…there’s always a moment when one’s eyes become open.

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  8. I believe we’re in the minority, but I wholeheartedly agree with you Jan!!! Canada legalized marijuana a few years ago and our governments at all levels are too stupid to keep statistics on increased issues with intoxicated driving, increased mental illness, and of course lack of motivation due to chemically altered brain functions. The science is there, plenty of peer reviewed studies correlate regular marijuana use with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. And anecdotally I’ve seen wild things happening on the highway due to people driving under the influence of marijuana, I’m sure. But nobody is listening. As our society degrades in morals and values, all kinds of behaviours will be legitimized by being made legal, but legality and morality are sometimes two very different things. Guiding young adults in our current societal culture is more than challenging. Don’t get me started. Thank you for sharing your very honest post. Sorry to go off on a tangent.

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    1. Oh, I so appreciate this feedback, these are all sound facts! I think the reason the government does not want to keep track of the stats is because they don’t want to acknowledge it. They already know of all the negative impacts, but instead they want to focus on all the revenue this industry is generating at our children’s expense!

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      1. That is absolutely true Jan! It’s always all about money and politics for our leaders. It’s actually very sad that integrity and morality mean so little. I could go on and on, but I won’t. 🙂

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  9. I know it’s a complicated issue, but I agree with you. I think it should only be legal for medical reasons, as it’s too easy to abuse and now it’s harder for young people to say “no.” Plus, it’s scary to think of how many people will be driving while “high” or doing a number of other things that require concentration……

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  10. Colorado is a legalized state. I lived there many years, and now I see more homelessness, more poverty than before. My children still live in Colorado, they say it has made things worse, and the promised improvements for the taxes off this drug are not seen. I do not agree with legalization. As they say with every policy change…follow the money. Politics and Greed are bedfellows. A post well written and good clarity. Thank you for sharing.

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  11. People are already indulging in varied ways, so I think it’s best to legalize it as a way to stop criminalizing it (which has only led to more Black and Brown people being imprisoned). Sorry to conflate a bunch of issues, but I hope you know what I’m saying overall.

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  12. Good point about the imprisonment but do you know they can actually decriminalize it without legalizing it. I didn’t even know that until one of my commentors let me know they have decriminalized it in Jamaica. Under decriminalization they loosen criminal penalties, but the manufacturing and marketing of the drug remains illegal.

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  13. You know most ppl in my country Jamaica complains that it’s not legal here. Well couple ounces is i guess…. But some Jamaicans wish they could grow it and make money from it like the rest of the world too. I bet they aren’t thinking about anything but making money too.

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    1. Jamaica is my home country too 😊. They have decriminalized the possession of small amounts in Jamaica, but it is still illegal to market and sell it. I agree with you, yes, they want to make it legal so they can make big bucks too, especially to tourists.

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