I never did get a chance to talk about this last night, so we'll give it a shot tonight.

Why shouldn't pot for recreational use be legalized already?

We live in the 21st Century knowing full well that there are drugs floating around far worse than marijuana. Hence the war on drugs that we've invested so much money and manpower to is a bust!

Exactly one month ago I wrote this blog responding to a letter to the editor of the News Transcript written by Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini addressing her concerns over legalizing marijuana.

Her letter reads as follows:

It seems obvious that more people will use a substance deemed legal and presumably safe by the government than they will use an illegal and presumably dangerous one. This logical conclusion has serious consequences for young people.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health released a study earlier this year that proved that the less dangerous young people considered a particular substance, the more they used it.

From 2007-11, the percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk from smoking marijuana once or twice a week decreased from 54.6 percent to 44.8 percent. At the same time, young people who smoked marijuana in a given month increased from 6.7 percent to 7.9 percent.
Those numbers reflect a time when policy makers in New Jersey and several other states were debating medical marijuana.

As some continue to push for legalizing marijuana regardless of medicinal circumstance, young people will continue to think it is safe. The numbers of young users in New Jersey will shoot through the roof if New Jersey ever sanctions the use of an illicit and dangerous drug.

This is sending the wrong message to young people. Marijuana is an addictive drug that often leads users to use other illegal drugs and down a path toward a number of medical and social problems.

Teen users have an increased risk of schizophrenia, depression and suicidal thoughts. They are also more likely to engage in delinquent and dangerous behavior.

Her assertion that “young people will think pot safe” because of its medicinal uses would also have to take into account how “safe” young people feel the drugs in their parents’ medicine cabinets are as well.

And those are more readily available. Funny how we still live in the age of refer madness, although perhaps not for too long.

According to this story:

For the first time in history, a clear majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana a new poll shows.

Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans think that marijuana should be legalized. In 1969, when the question was first asked, only 12 percent were in favor of legalization.
The survey found that more Democrats support the legalization than Republicans and Independents and young adults are more likely to agree with it as well. Sixty-seven percent of Americans ages 18-29 years said that it should be legal.

A contributing factor for overall support might be that Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of the drug becoming the first states to do so.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced in August that the Justice Department would not challenge Colorado’s and Washington’s referendums, showing a slight flexibility on the issue, even though the federal government is in opposition of the issue.

Also, the poll found that 38 percent of Americans admitted to having tried marijuana, which may be a factor as well.

The next state that could possibly follow in Washington’s and Colorado’s steps is California. Just last week California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said that weed should be legalized in the state and a statewide referendum in 2014 to legalize it is likely to be introduced.

Is society going to “pot” to use the pun? Isn’t it time to get drug cartels out of the pot business and control the flow of marijuana just as we control the purchase of alcohol and tobacco – albeit in a somewhat slipshod fashion.

Pot isn’t going away tomorrow, and all our efforts to control the illegal flow of it into our country are a waste of precious resources.

Besides, we can use the money to tax it, just as we do cigarettes and alcohol.

Do you support of legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes? Feel free to comment as you see fit!