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We thought you marijuana smokers were lazy coach potatoes. But we had you all wrong.

Voter-approved "medical" marijuana hasn't even been implemented, but you're already pounding the streets for signatures to get recreational marijuana on the ballot this November. That's tenacity.

We're not looking to harsh your mellow, guys, but you need to chill for awhile.

Not a single medical marijuana dispensary is open in Missouri. (The implementation process hasn't gone as smoothly as some would have liked.) Yet you NORML types are already trying to convince us that marijuana is for medicine and recreation.

We've never bought the medicine thing. There are legitimate medicines for the ailments soon to be treated with marijuana in Missouri.

Plus, doctors mostly agree you don't smoke medicine, especially one with side effects as serious as affecting short-term memory, damaging lung tissue and impairing cognitive ability. Some doctors are refusing to certify patients to use medical marijuana.

Should marijuana be legal for recreation? Good arguments exist on both sides.

It can easily be argued alcohol has had far more ill effects on our society than marijuana (look no further than traffic deaths). Also, a 2017 study found legalized marijuana has caused a decrease in violent crime along states that border Mexico, where cartels have controlled marijuana distribution.

Since legalizing marijuana, Colorado has reported a decrease in violent crime and an increase in state revenues. But it's also reported increased homelessness and more babies being born with THC in their blood.

Like alcohol, marijuana isn't good for you. But, as an adult, should you have the freedom to choose for yourself whether to use it?

Regardless of your opinion, it makes sense to hold off on recreational marijuana, at least until we see how medical marijuana affects our state. Sorry for being blunt; that's just how we roll.

We don't suspect this editorial will slow the marijuana-legalization train any more than "Reefer Madness" affected the public perception of wacky weed in the 1930s. You THC tokers won't likely take our advice and hold off on a push for recreational marijuana.

But to quote Matthew McConaughey in "Dazed and Confused": "It'd be a lot cooler if you did."

News Tribune

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