The Colorado measure will limit cultivation to six marijuana plants per person, but "grow-your-own" pot would be still be banned altogether in Washington state. "The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who opposed the measure, said in a statement. "This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through." He added: "Federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don't break out the Cheetos or gold fish too quickly."
Critics say the social harms of legalizing pot - from anticipated declines in economic productivity to a rise in traffic and workplace accidents - would trump any benefits. Backers point to potential tax revenues to be gained and say anti-pot enforcement has accomplished little but to penalize otherwise law-abiding citizens, especially minorities. They also argue that ending pot possession prosecutions would free up strained law enforcement resources and strike a blow against drug cartels, much as repealing alcohol prohibition in the 1930s crushed bootlegging by organized crime. "It's no worse than alcohol, and it's widely used in Colorado anyway," said Jean Henderson, 73, a retired resident of Broomfield, explaining her vote in favor of legalization. "The state can benefit from the taxes rather than put people in jail." Click here to read full article.
"The bill passed because medical marijuana has been more tightly regulated in Colorado than any other state. It’s planting, growing, processing and shipping is all under constant video monitoring. The referendum backers advertised that marijuana had been regulated until it was safe, and that allowing recreational use would bring millions of dollars of tax revenues that was now going to cartels into the state for education.
"The uncounted medical and societal costs of this decision will be evident in the years ahead. Alcohol use and related illnesses skyrocketed after the end of Prohibition. Marijuana worsens symptoms of psychotic illnesses, contributes to depression and increases attention deficit and memory problems. Traffic accidents and fatalities will increase and there is presently no easy way to test drivers to see if they are driving under marijuana’s influence. Marijuana is often cut with mind-altering drugs like PCP, LSD, heroin and cocaine. Its use delays people looking for the emotional causes of their problems as it puts a Band-Aid on their psychic wounds. Many experts see marijuana as a gateway to the use of even more dangerous drugs. One-third of users, who now will be able to grow up to six marijuana plants in their backyard in Colorado, show signs of dependence. Parents will have one more reason for not allowing their children to go over and play at the neighbor’s house.
"How will Colorado and Washington deal with the economic issues of price, supply and demand? Monitoring production for so-called medical use is ridiculously simple compared to the quantities demanded as use skyrockets, 'potheads' move to the state and marijuana attracts tourism. Will the state Department of Agriculture promote it as a new cash crop instead of allowing its import from outside the state? With the state tax of 15 percent, will people still grow it illegally and drug runners run it across the state line to avoid the added cost? How will law enforcement know what marijuana is taxed and what has not been once it is in the user’s possession?
"If the supply is more than adequate, will the price drop fuel increased usage and an increase in the tax rate? According to priceofweed.com, marijuana now costs $152 to $254 dollars an ounce in Colorado depending on quality. Where can it be sold? If it is treated like alcohol sales in the state, residents may soon find it in the grocery store between the basil and rosemary. In the medical marijuana trade, there are popular marijuana-infused edibles, oils and even drinks. With the harms of inhaling smoke, will restaurants in Colorado and Washington soon be offering marijuana-infused desserts?
"Bottom line, I view the legalization of marijuana with sadness. It is another step, a giant one, along the path of the decline and ultimate destruction of our culture and our country. It is another clear indicator of the need for Christians to be shining lights in the growing darkness."