Sunday, February 24, 2013
Is Legalizing Marijuana Good for the U.S.?
The pro-marijuana lobby is ecstatic that 2 states, in the last election, legalized marijuana smoking. Should the rest of us be as “ecstatic” as the potheads who have supported this legalization?
There has been a big push on the part of some to totally ban tobacco smoking in all areas of our lives. Since I’ve stopped smoking cigarettes for many years, I can sympathize with the desire of not being exposed to tobacco smoke. But, have the “tobacco prohibitionists” gone too far and have been flirting with pushing an unconstitutional agenda? Even though I abhor the smell of tobacco, as long as it is not blown in my face or in close proximity in a closed area, the people who smoke have a perfect right to do physical damage to their own bodies. Reasonable restrictions are appropriate such as in restaurants, inside buildings, theaters, and in certain public places, but outright banning should not be part of the equation of trying to cut down on tobacco usage.
But, these same people who are militantly anti-tobacco, seem to be some of the same people who are pushing for passage of marijuana smoking. The key word is “smoking”. Most all of us agree that tobacco is bad for your health, especially for your lungs. In fact, tobacco smoking, if continued regularly, can cut 10 years off your life. Can’t these same people realize that marijuana smoking also is inhaled into the lungs and the damage is the same or worse than tobacco smoking? Besides the physical damage marijuana smoking does to the body, it dulls and alters your thinking, problem solving, and physical coordination. Even as bad as tobacco smoking is, it doesn’t have the extra problems that marijuana smoking causes. It is not just a benign habit as the “pro weed smokers” claim.
Yes, I know that people will get their marijuana highs whether legalized or not, but why should we encourage its use? It has also been shown that smoking marijuana is a “gateway” drug for more powerful mind altering drugs like heroin, crack, Ecstasy, and prescription drugs etc.
I also believe that people who are seriously ill and who use marijuana to ease their pain, should have access to marijuana under the auspices of a medical doctor. The problem is, like what has happened in California, the “medical marijuana” is now being abused by some users, doctors, and unscrupulous businessmen to skirt the law by getting the “weed” into the hands of non-sickly people for recreational use.
So people, be careful what you wish for - the unintended consequences of a “libertarian” policy of legalizing marijuana can and will be detrimental to society.
Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann