Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Eve of Prop 19, Childhood Pot Addiction Higher Than Ever

As we approach November 2, California sits poised to narrowly pass Proposition 19, effectively legalizing marijuana, in small doses, for the general public to carry or use as they see fit.  Prop 19 would eliminate approximately 50,000 misdemeanor citations and arrests associated with the substance while at the same time generating some 15 billion dollars in revenues for the state annually.  Less paperwork for the cops, and more paper for the state!  It's a win/win, plus it ensures that your lip-ringed skateboarding flannel-shirt-wearing 19-year-old "alternative" child won't get picked up on pot charges  (They'll get him for something else, like loitering!*).  And while many who are in favor of the law are quick to cite these benefits amongst the bevy of others associated with it's passing, they've yet to address perhaps the biggest debate within the debate, the question that leaves many Californians undecided: in our over-medicated society, should we really be legalizing another drug for our country to abuse?

Those voting yes on November 2 say that the law, or the overturning of the law, rather, is a long time coming.  "It's not a question of abuse, it's a question of reassessing society's needs and wants," Stems Enseeds said on the footsteps of the mayor's office in San Francisco last week.  "So many people have been cultivating and smoking marijuana in this state that it's time we recognize it for what it is; not as a problem, as many naysayers conceive it, but as an end to the persecution of those who use it regularly and still go about their regular lives as a functioning member of society like everybody else."  Indeed many of the misconceptions about the substance seem absurd even compared to 5 years ago.  The Reefer Madness stereotype long gone today, marijuana is as common place in California as economic inequality or racism.  It's made the debate about the drug harder than ever to ignore, and with California being broker than a Toyota Camry, the scale may already be tipped in it's favor.

All that being said, it's hard to ignore many of the social questions raised by Proposition 19.  With medicinal marijuana already being in place in California, many of the major questions that come from full blown legalization have already been tested on a beta-level.  And with many dispensaries being located near schools or churches, the state has seen a major rise in marijuana use by children of all ages.  Just last week we received the image featured above, depicting a group of infant pot addicts sitting around accomplishing nothing.  Mothers everywhere were outraged.  "This must be stopped!  I can't even get my 8-year-old Gregory to take out the garbage anymore.  He just sits there and plays Xbox all day, eating fudgesicles.  We need to help these and other babies and stop Proposition 19 before it's too late!  Otherwise your baby could wind up like the ones in this picture. They'll grow up and only go to a middle tier private university instead of an Ivy league school.  And they'll be middle class, not even upper!  With a fulfilling career and beautiful family, to boot, as if happiness is worth more than cash.  This is downright shocking and we are not okay with it.  As a society, we must do something immediately."

Though November 2 is still two weeks away, it's clear this debate has many unanswerable questions.  And with Prop 19 only passing by 6% if the polls closed today, it seems like it will be a day-of decision for many Californians.  Though the state sits on the brink of making history and thus affecting the policies of the rest of the nation in it's wake, we'll have to wait and see just how many stoners roll out of bed in time to vote.

*Consarnded whippersnappers!

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