Last month, Oklahoma voters rejected the legalization of recreational marijuana. Hopefully, this means the word about all the problems associated with marijuana use is getting around.
In New York City, licenses for legal pot shops have been slow in coming so illegal shops have proliferated, leading to the sale of illegal drugs and attracting more than 500 violent robberies last year alone. Mayor Eric Adams noted there are as many as 1,500 of these illegal shops in the City. They open near schools and target kids. “We are losing our grip,” he said. Licensed shops also target kids with candy-flavored gummies and other cannabis products. It’s Joe Camel all over again.
Legalized marijuana is also a factor in Colorado’s rising crime rates. It attracted criminals to the state initially, and now the homeless and others are committing armed robbery and burglary to get the money to buy marijuana. The same pattern is playing out in other states. Legalizing marijuana was supposed to reduce crime but, instead, the illegal drug market has mushroomed and violence has increased.
There’s no end to the problems marijuana is causing:
- the number of young children ingesting marijuana in Colorado is rising despite regulations meant to prevent it
- suicide attempts linked to marijuana overdoses are up. Remember, the drug is 10 times more powerful than it was a generation ago.
- marijuana sent more than 800,000 people to the emergency room in 2021 with prolonged vomiting, psychotic episodes, and other problems, almost double as in 2011
- the number of seniors hospitalized for a bong-gone-wrong in California increased 1,800 percent between 2005 and 2019
- marijuana can lead to depression and worsen underlying mental problems
- regular marijuana users may need more anesthesia during surgery, leading to more cognitive problems associated with anesthesia
- marijuana is associated with a raft of other problems including emphysema, learning delays, and driving deaths
Legalizing recreational marijuana was supposed to be harmless. It wasn’t. It was supposed to reduce crime. It didn’t. It was supposed to keep marijuana out of the hands of young people. The problem got worse. It was supposed to fatten public coffers, but it drains public resources instead. It costs more than four times as much money to fix the problems than marijuana brings in.
No wonder the pendulum is starting to swing, with some now calling for tighter regulations of various kinds. That’s a good thing, no matter how much it might upset the progressive Democrats and the financially self-interested merchants of chaos who urged us into this mess.
©2023 Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.