Gee, Who Would Have Predicted That Legalizing Pot Would Put Children At Risk?

Sorry, I have no sympathy, zero, zilch, nada, for any parents and grandparents of the rebellious toking generation who are horrified at the effect widespread pot legalization is having on the young. Any idiot could have and should have predicted it. For example, I predicted it when I was 18, and being prodded, mocked, urged and wheedled (perhaps that should be “weedled”) into taking “just one puff” almost every day in college. (It was also against the law, which stodgy old me took too seriously, I was lectured, by a lot of students who went to law school.)

Here is how the New York Times’ “Kids Buying Weed From Bodegas Wasn’t in the ‘Legal Weed’ Plan” begins…

Not long ago, a mother in Westchester learned from her teenage son that he and his friends had gone to a nearby bodega and bought weed. She understood — they were kids, stifled and robbed by the pandemic of so many opportunities for indulging the secretive rituals of adolescence…

But it was deeply troubling to her that a store was selling weed to kids — New York State’s decriminalization statute makes it illegal to sell to anyone under 21 — so she embarked on an investigation. Predictably, when she confronted the bodega owners, they denied that they were distributing to anyone underage, so her next stop was a visit to the local police precinct, where she did not encounter the sense of urgency she had hoped for.

The cops greeted her with a kind of smug indifference, she said, an affect of I told you so, suggesting that liberals were now faced with the downstream impact of values that law enforcement had always disdained. Mothers in earthy, expensive footwear from the River Towns to Park Slope had supported the legalization of marijuana on the grounds that it needlessly funneled so many young Black and brown men into the criminal justice system. But now it was ubiquitous, and in the worst case scenarios possibly laced with fentanyl, and all too easy for their children to access. The bodega, in this instance, was a short distance from the local high school.

The story just ticks me off, to be vernacular. Morons. This is a self-inflicted wound on the culture and society, and here’s another prediction that anyone who isn’t stuck in an anatomically impossible position should be able to make: that wound will get deeper, will spread, and there won’t be any effective treatment. I find it ironic that in the same edition of the Times that that story appears had this one on the front page: “Desperate for Babies, China Races to Undo an Era of Birth Limits. Is It Too Late?”

Remember when poor Chinese families were killing baby girls because they would count against China’s brilliant, societal engineering “single child” laws? I wonder how many stick-in-the-mud Chinese ( I wonder what Chinese for “stick-in-the-mud” is?) were saying then, “This is going to have dire consequences we’re not going to like!”

Well, I don’t care about China. I do care about the U.S. The huge (and smug) cultural wave of pro-drug propaganda that began in the Sixties was always going to do far more damage than good, and anyone could have predicted it.

Unfortunately, too many in my generation were so stoned they couldn’t, or so happy being stoned that they didn’t want to.

15 thoughts on “Gee, Who Would Have Predicted That Legalizing Pot Would Put Children At Risk?

  1. When California was moving toward legalizing marijuana, the argument used to justify legalization was that it would remove any incentive for illegal dealers to push this on the young as well as the positive impact of regulating the growing of “clean” marijuana. This was the justification my often-stoned friends from the 60s used. The fact that Colorado had already legalized marijuana and the associated increase in consumer cost due to taxation had not only not stopped illegal growing but it also had not stopped the sidewalk pot dealer from preying on those who could not afford to buy at the dispensary including their best target market, local high schoolers. These facts when presented to the pro-legalization crowd were simply ignored as if I hadn’t posed a rational reason for why their argument was vacuous and, frankly, stupid. I could only conclude that their years of smoking pot had dulled their brains and their concern for fellow citizens.

  2. So the mother’s concern wasn’t that the kids were smoking pot (that’s just “indulging the secretive rituals of adolescence”), but that they didn’t have to have an encounter with a drug dealer on a street corner to obtain it? Those are weird priorities…

  3. Why does everything “bad” have to be illegal? Teens have a choice to drink or take drugs, just like adults. Given that fact, allow them to choose and live with the consequences.
    Rationalizations for making drugs legal (and for using them) are rationalizations for the ignorant and self-deluded.
    It’s time to stop depending on some over-arching “benevolent”government to do the right thing. The government has proven unable, and we are wasting time, effort and precious resources on trying to use that tool to stop the behavior of the ignorant. No one wants to see another harmed but it is just ignorant and prideful on the part of otherwise intelligent people to think our current government can force some result with a threat.
    The facts are these:
    Personal responsibility and liberty are the only answer. Knowing that the Universal Justice will always “right the ship”, we should teach everyone that “the wages of sin, is death.”
    It’s not magical, nor is it mysterious, it’s just reality.

  4. I’m confused. How is this an indictment of legalized marijuana to people over 21 and not of a police force unwilling to do its job?

  5. I’m very much a Libertarian when it comes to adults using mind altering drugs, what adults do in privacy regarding these kinds of drugs is none of my business. Enforce the laws that are put there specifically to help keep these kinds of drugs out of the hands of children, enforce the drug laws and, like violations of firearm laws, don’t plea bargain violations of drug laws down to lesser offenses, prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law.

    That said; there really is something to the phrase “everything in moderation” that rings very true, but, overuse and abuse of mind altering drugs is stupid people, playing stupid games, winning stupid prizes.

    • My problem with that position, as with many libertarian positions, is that it’s my business when irresponsible conduct adversely affects my society and my well-being. I have to pay for the health problems abusing these drugs causes; I have to pay for the economic impact of poor productivity in the work place and the failure of the educational system when stoned students don’t learn or graduate. I am stuck with the bad elected officials stoned dummies think are swell, because their powers of thought and reasoning are seriously handicapped. My society is made less livable and enjoyable by a higher percentage of stumbling, inarticulate fools whose idea of recreation is to make themselves stupid, temporarily, regularly, or permanently.

      • Jack,
        Those are also a very fair arguments.

        There must be a balance; so where is the balance?

        Personally I think the balance is vigorously enforcing the laws that are already put in place to help curb the bad behaviors in our society. If people are choosing to use drugs in the work place then fire them, I have zero tolerance for such things.

        • In some industries and occupations, drug use is the norm. My son, who is an auto tech, says most of the auto mechanics are high most days, and this has been routine wherever he has worked. Nice. Rote, low-skill jobs are particularly prone to this.

          • Jack Marshall wrote, “low-skill jobs are particularly prone to this.”

            Prone because of the skill level of the job?

            Personally I think it 100% depends on the integrity of the leadership not the skill level of the jobs.

            I work in manufacturing engineering and if anyone comes in our facility and they’re on drugs or alcohol they get sent home without pay the first time and fired the second time, it’s the same from top people that sit in chairs to the bottom people that sweep the floor.

            FYI: I was at a raw material suppliers’ place one day at lunch time and when I walked into the back door heading towards engineering, there were four people in a car right next to the door smoking crack, I saw them, they knew I saw them, I walked in and immediately reported them to the President of the company and the reaction I got back was such that I told him we’d be taking our nearly $100,000 annual business elsewhere and I walked out of the building. When I walked out the same door the same idiots were in a daze in that car, staring off into space. Later that day I notified the police and OSHA what was going at that facility and a few short years later they were completely out of business. We were already having routine problems with this relatively local company that’s why I was visiting their engineering department so we already had another company, not quite as local, as a backup; we simple shifted all our business over night.

              • Jack Marshall wrote, “It’s part of blue-collar culture now. Dug in, and unremovable.”

                I’m certainly not going to disagree with you on that but as we have been shown since 2008 culture can change. It truly doesn’t have to be an acceptable or expected part of work culture and bad behaviors enabled by not effectively enforcing laws needs to change or we’re going to loose a couple of generations to irrational behaviors.

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