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Fearing Legalization

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I read an article in the Cannabist today and have to comment.

As someone who never thought they’d see the day when Marijuana was even considered to be recreationally legal, I’m fascinated by this process of understanding how people view this issue, the impact they believe legalization will have on their cities, the personal stories of medical users and how it’s all being sorted out.

From my experience, rec legalization has not turned the already rec states into the Sodom and Gomorrah people fear. Actually, as I’ve travelled the “Rec Weed Trail” of CO, OR, and WA, I’ve found quite the opposite. While walking down the streets in any of these states, aside from the Green Crosses on some of the buildings, if I didn’t know it was legal, I wouldn’t know. In Nevada, it’s fairly easy to get a medical “reference” and they honor out of state Medical ID’s but even there, I didn’t feel like weed had taken over, it’s still sex and alcohol taking the lead - (should we be relieved?)

Honestly, I can smell pot wafting in and out of more doorways walking the streets of New York where it’s illegal to smoke even medically than I have in the three rec states combined.

Having family members of my own who don’t necessarily understand Marijuana use, I do understand the misconception and apprehension of people in the states where Marijuana legalization is on the ballot. These people really believe that their homes and streets are suddenly going to go to hell in a hand basket. They might believe, that they’ve become the country’s Red Light District, with residents doing whatever they want, and tons of deviant behavior suddenly erupting. These are the images of my parent’s generation, but of others who don’t understand as well. It’s not what I’ve seen or found, it’s simply not true. As I’ve said, this year I’ve visited the three rec legal states (and two liberal medically legal states on the ballot for rec this November), and found that they were no where nearly as blatant in their consumption as even I had visualized and found myself almost a little embarrassed by my own naïve thinking. Honestly, I think if we just legalize Marijuana, and start seriously testing it, it will maintain its low profile position among it’s consumers, and not be any more blatant or harmful than it is already. People just want to know that they can make this safe choice and not be arrested for it. Legalizing Marijuana does not mean there will be this sudden recruitment of people to smoke and we’ll all be walking around stoned. It will mean that we will be able to obtain it safely, test it, understand it’s properties, and put laws in place to keep it safe for society just like we had to do with alcohol and many prescription drugs. Marijuana is not a bad thing people. Recreational Marijuana is not going to suddenly “lure” innocent people into a deviant life.  Rather, responsible consuming of Marijuana is the same as any other personal lifestyle choice and nowhere have I seen this more evident than in recreationally legal states.



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