As you know, the state of Illinois recently legalized medical marijuana. When that happened, many people thought that the next step was an obvious one – legalize marijuana period. People want to decriminalize marijuana based on the argument that nobody ever died from marijuana.
Recently, our neighbors to the north (Canada, not Wisconsin) had an overwhelming response to the marijuana issue. Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa all were sites of demonstrations on April 20, or 420, to consider and allow for the legalization of marijuana.
Closer to home, the states of Colorado and Washington tried to honor long standing demonstrations and discussions on the topic of legalizing pot. Conversations in and around both states put pressure on the legislatures of both states for legalization based on the decriminalization issue; better state control of marijuana in its distribution by opening pot stores; and the tax burdens anticipated would make it a worthwhile endeavor.
Colorado recently published its tax revenue intake since marijuana was made legal – in the millions of dollars – and all was happy in Denver.
Be careful what you wish for. You may get it, but not want it.
In all of the discussions in Denver regarding legalizing marijuana it seemed nobody discussed one other part of the discussion – edible marijuana. How could one resist to adding marijuana to everything from brownies to side dishes to plates like meatloaf and burgers, to smoothies and drinks, etc., now that it is legal in Colorado. But, the officials who determined its legality didn’t foresee the problem of overdosing.
You see, we tend to overindulge on things that we really enjoy. People were overeating, taking in huge amounts of pot in some of the varieties of food listed above, thus losing control of their motor and sensory faculties in their devouring of food items. This could cause accidents and sometimes deaths to themselves and others.
Illinois is contemplating legalizing marijuana. I heard one commentary that stated that with the epidemic of heroin among our young people if they switched to marijuana it may be safer for them. Really? I think not. I think that by legalizing marijuana we open up a very dangerous Pandora’s box from which this state may not recover if deaths begin to mount. Colorado officials are quoted as saying that they wished they covered all angles of the issue. Now it is too late. The law is the law. Illinois, be very careful what you wish for.
Paul Lepek is the WRLR morning radio host.