Thursday, November 3, 2016

Election Fatigue and Cannabis

We're getting close to election Tuesday and for a month now I've had election fatigue.  I've made my choice. I've already mailed in my early ballot and every day I hear more and more about only two particular candidates both of which I think we could do without.

If you are wondering what my affiliation is, I'm an independent.  I'm a moderate, center right, if you really want to be specific.

And neither of the major parties nor their candidates really appeal to me.

Of course the news hammers away at things about the candidates about their benign campaign rallies to latest wikileaks scandal.  I'm so sick of it.

Instead what I try to concern myself with is what's on the ballot on the back page.  The part where my fair state wishes to legalize the recreational use of cannabis.  My husband supports this and I don't.

My husband leans more left of center.  I would peg him along the lines of a libertarian in terms of politics.  He has a "live and let live" attitude that drives me batty.

We've had rows over this particular bit of legislation.

He thinks because I'm concerned about getting high for moral reasons that that is the crux of my argument.

It's not.

I've tried to reason with him so, dear reader, I will spell out my argument to anyone else who thinks legalizing recreational use of cannabis is a good idea.

1) Cannabis has been regulated since the 19th century in the US.  It was not regulated in the 1960s because of right-leaning hippie haters.  Cannabis was used for medical use and was largely unregulated until people who ingested these tonics in very bad quantities.  People started using it recreationally as a cheap alternative to booze much later and again people were concerned about it's use.

2) I'm not opposed to cannabis for medical purposes.  I've ingested codeine, a narcotic, for medical purposes.  It'd be hypocritical to take something which can get you high and deny it to some else for medical reasons too.

3) But I do oppose for recreational purposes.  Just like I oppose cigarette smoking.  I believe that people do use them poorly around others, but social pressure makes smoking largely a thing of the past.  (Don't get me started on e cigarettes though.  That's a topic for another time.) Second hand smoking causes cancer.  Forcing your children to live in a house filled with cigarette smoke or a car filled with cigarette smoke is poor parenting in my opinion.  Fortunately most parents keep their cigs out of reach and smoke outdoors.  There are some places where cigarette smoking is illegal.  Outside of government or public buildings for example.  In Canada, in Ontario, you could not smoke in a car with a child younger than age 16.

4) The current regulation does nothing to protect children from harm.  It simply states that if you are 21 and older, you can grow your own plants and have an ounce of cannabis in your possession.  There's nothing to keep children from getting high from the second hand fumes or from accidentally eating the plant/brownie/candy, etc.  It's as bad if not worse (because a child could become high and ingest lethal amounts) than cigarettes around children.

5) And before you go back to bad parenting and getting child welfare involved just like you would if a parent was drunk all the time or high, then keep in mind this....what do you do if this person is using in your building?  Smoke fills other rooms as well.  As I said most people are good about cigarette smoking.  There is the occasional person who lives next door to your apartment.  But what happens if this is cannabis smoke and your child inhales a large dose?  Who is responsible?  This isn't some sort of long term effect thing.  This is something that could happen immediately without warning.  Your child could end up in the ER.

Who is held accountable if there's no law protecting children (or vulnerable adults)?

What about pets?  In Colorado the incidents of pets ingesting cannabis and becoming sick have sky rocketed.  There isn't a clause in the law about that either.

But my concern is about those innocents without legal recourse?  Who do they turn to if their neighbor is getting high so they are inhaling it?  Can a family break a legal and binding renter's agreement because of their neighbor's stubbornness?  What if they can't move?

Just something to consider.  Fortunately my family has been lucky that cigarettes haven't been too much of a problem.  I don't want to add cannabis to the mix.  Call it selfishness if you like but I don't see any good coming from allowing a person to smoke anything especially in populated areas.

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