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Monday, September 01, 2014

It's time to legalize recreational marijuana

When I was in high school I imagined that marijuana would be legalized by the time I was 30. After all, most young people I knew smoked pot or believed in legalizing it. The age of 30 seemed like centuries ago. But it came and went and people changed. A lot of them were sucked into the Ronald Reagan cult of personality and human progress was set back several decades.
Now I’m almost 60 and even though twice as much time has gone by since high school, I may finally see marijuana legalized. This article is right…they should have never made that drug illegal. The original reasons for its ban were racist. Now all across the land the laws are changing. From Oregon:
- សតិវ អតុ                              

Oregon has had a wink-wink, nudge-nudge relationship with recreational marijuana use since 1998, when legalization for medical purposes created a wide, open system that distributes pot cards to just about anyone with a vague medical claim and the signature of a compliant physician. We're not suggesting that marijuana has no palliative value to those with genuine medical problems. But let's be honest: Recreational marijuana is all but legal in Oregon now and has been for years. Measure 91, which deserves Oregonians' support, would eliminate the charade and give adults freer access to an intoxicant that should not have been prohibited in the first place.
 Opponents of the measure are right about a couple of things. Allowing retail sales of recreational marijuana inevitably will make it easier for kids to get their hands on the stuff, as will Measure 91's provision allowing Oregonians to grow their own. It's also true that outright legalization will increase the number of people driving under the influence, which is particularly problematic given the absence of a simple and reliable test for intoxication. There is no bong Breathalyzer.
As real as these consequences are, Oregonians should support outright legalization. No responsible adult wants kids using pot, but legalization would simply add another product to an "adults-only" category that includes tobacco and alcohol. There is no movement to ban alcohol in order to keep it away from kids, so why use that justification to prevent the legalization of marijuana, which in many ways is no worse? The potential increase in intoxicated driving is, again, a reason for concern, and the measure directs the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to recommend appropriate changes to the vehicle code by 2017.

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