Here we are. We have finally arrived. Nirvana for the left — Pot (er... marijuana) is now legal in Oregon. Well that is not entirely true. There are some strict guidelines around the production, distribution and use of marijuana. However, if you ask the average person on the street they will tell you “Pot is legal”. However if you asked them a different question, they may give you blank stare, or fumble a bit and then say “sure, why not,... it doesn’t hurt anyone”. What is that question?
Is Legalized Pot Good for Oregon?
You see, making something legal doesn’t change whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. We should make laws based on promoting good things and laws against bad things. But if something was bad before, and then it becomes legal, that thing does not become good. Instead, all that has happened is a bad thing has become legal.
I’m sure some are rolling their eyes now thinking I’m a moralist and I shouldn’t judge the behaviors of others. Well if you think that way, then you should stop judging me and my opinions because they differ from yours. Or you should not get upset when someone hits your car or steals items from your home because, by your own thinking, you shouldn’t judge others. But back to the question at hand, is legalized marijuana is good for Oregon and Oregonians.
The proponents have all told us that legalization of pot would create a new industry in Oregon, and isn’t industry good? People will even travel to Oregon to smoke pot — think tourism dollars. However, the bigger lie is what you probably will hear on the streets — that pot doesn’t hurt anyone. It’s like having a glass of wine or a beer to take the edge off after a difficult day. But even that statement spins a falsehood that is evident once you think for a second — alcohol is not harmless. Thousands die every year from a drunk driver. Domestic abuse and alcohol go hand in hand. Alcohol in the hands of many of our society is not a good thing. Intentional or not, alcohol is involved in great harm, and an some cases evil, in our world.
Before anyone misinterprets my statement above, and thinks I’m advocating for a return to the days of prohibition, you misunderstand. I do not think you can put that genie back in the bottle. Rather I’m explaining that we already have one substance (alcohol in many forms) that is abused far too often which has been with Western culture for thousands of years. I do not think we can, nor should we ban all alcohol. We should protect our children, we should advocate for moderation or avoidance, but making it illegal would not work.
However, our topic is marijuana. It has not been a legal substance for thousands of years in Western culture, but for less than a year in Oregon. Moreover, it is not harmless or victimless. Unlike alcohol, everyone who tries or uses marijuana does so for the express purpose of getting high. That would be like everyone who has a glass of wine with dinner or a beer after work, not stopping at one, but drinking until they were drunk. If everyone who consumed alcohol did it for the express purpose of getting drunk, what would our society look like — better or worse? I think the answer is obvious, but that is exactly what the purpose of smoking pot is — to get high, to obtain a feeling where you are no longer sober, no longer in control, and transported to a world where everything is kind of fun and a new adventure.
What is the result of such behavior? Well the numbers from another state are in, Colorado which legalized marijuana in 2009, and they are not pretty. Rather than repeat the fine work of Senator Doug Whitsett on the subject, I highly recommend you read his letter. The results are anything but neutral. Frankly they are stunning to those who believed the lie that legalizing pot would be harmless. And for those of us who do not smoke marijuana, the results are unfortunately too predictable.
The results in Colorado will soon be the results in Oregon. Marijuana is not a victimless act. It’s legalization will only cause more disability, more suffering, more crime and more deaths. Now the question is whether we want something that is a bad for Oregon to remain legal or whether we think we should reverse this law (which lies about the legality of marijuana being good for Oregon) and clean up our act.