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Our Opinion: Recreational marijuana points in wrong direction

January 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. | Updated January 22, 2015 at 12:00 p.m.

To supporters of recreational marijuana use, we pose this question: What is so unsatisfying or unfulfilling about your life that you feel a need to get high?

Proponents are circulating petitions to put marijuana legalization to a statewide in the November 2016 election.

Although we have heard countless responses to our initial question, few answer it directly.

Among the most frequent responses are:

Marijuana is no worse than alcohol. That's true. We recall a story last year with the headline: "Alcohol is still the deadliest drug in the United States, and it's not even close." Alcohol abuse is a scourge in our society. Consequences include accidents, fatalities, family breakups, job losses, health problems, legal issues and more.

Alcohol prohibition in the United States has been tried; it failed. A comparison to alcohol is not a compelling reason to legalize another mood-altering substance, which experience has shown creates problems and is difficult, if not impossible, to repeal.

It's my business if I want to get high; I'm not hurting anyone else. That may be true for a person who lives in a vacuum. Otherwise, it is classic denial.

A person who is impaired cannot be completely involved in activities with a spouse, children or friends. Impaired judgment impedes the ability to follow instructions, interact with co-workers or complete routine tasks.

Getting high is about self, not about others.

Mood-altering substances - alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal - abound in modern society.

We have no quarrel with the use of drugs, including marijuana, for medicinal purposes, as prescribed by licensed medical professionals.

But we fear we have become not only an over-medicated population, but also an overly self-medicated population.


Have we become so pessimistic, so defeated and so hopeless that escaping reality through drug and alcohol use has become the go-to coping mechanism?

We all have seen or read science fiction stories where the populace is little more a collection of passive, submissive, drug-addled zombies.

Legalizing recreational marijuana may not create that world, but it brings us another step closer to it.

We prefer a course correction. We believe the healthier, more responsible direction is to approach life with a clear mind, a kind heart and an industrious outlook.


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