Marijuana and Kids

I know what you’re thinking – what’s she talking about ?  Marijuana and kids?  Not to worry, my mind has been busy with TWO topics: marijuana and kids, not the singular topic of marijuana and kids.

It’s official.  The legalization of marijuana is to appear on the November ballot in California and I find myself wondering where do I stand.  In the very early 70’s, while in high school, I took an impromptu survey of fellow students to see if they thought marijuana should be legalized.  I still have those spiral bound notebook papers with handwritten answers, tucked away in a box downstairs in my garage. I, of course, believed that marijuana should be legalized.  There was no other choice for a free spirit, creative, far out kind of girl with a wide variety of friends, including the “druggies” and the “heads”.

Was I ahead of my time in my thinking?  After all, this was almost 40 years ago!  And way before any thinking of “medicinal pot.”  I know it  wasn’t just me, it was a generational thing.  It was the time of experimenting with drugs.  It was magic mushrooms and psilocybin, mescaline and pot, Timothy Leary and LSD, and a host of other popular drugs.  Pot seemed to be the least innocuous of them all – certainly no worse than drinking.  And drinking was legal!  Still is.

After a long hiatus of drinking, and reevaluating the effects of alcoholism in my life, I can now enjoy wine and cocktails.  Of course, in many ways I am the same person I was then, but in other ways, I am not near who I was.  For one, I no longer have “druggie” friends and am far removed from that culture.  So where does that put me on the legalization of marijuana?  Where do I stand?  I’m not sure.  Where do you stand?  I used to think it was no big deal.  Now, I’m asked to vote, to take on the social responsibility of what legalization means.  Am I ready?

I think I can say with absolute conviction that I believe in medical marijuana.  I believe that there are people for whom marijuana is truly beneficial and not recreational or detrimental.  Like those with conditions that marijuana helps to relieve pain or nausea or….  But I have also grown skeptical in my age that the pot clubs don’t only serve those in need.  But this isn’t even my biggest concern.  What benefit will legalization really bring?  What, if any problems, will it create?  Exacerbate?

I read in the paper that police will no longer have to deal with those having less than an ounce in their possession so they can use their resources for other things.  I doubt the police now go after someone with less than an ounce, that isn’t the priority. You can sometimes smell  it as you walk down a City street.  There are other claims that it will bring in tax revenue desperately in need in these economic times. From what I’ve read, an individual can only grow for themselves within a 5×5 space (I think that’s what it said).  How would it be regulated?  And then there’s the big question, what about the kids?  Easier access means easier access.  Do I want that for my children?  No.

Although in high school, I thought I was quite grown up and mature for my age and could make wise choices, in retrospect, I see that as an illusion of youth.  What may seem like making fully informed decisions is actually very limited.  The fact of youth is less experience. and experience leads to more knowledge.  So do I make it easier for my kids or harder with my vote.  Which vote makes it easier/harder in their lives?   Will it even matter to them?

I know part of my hesitation in just going along with this is having seen too many people whose involvement with drugs was not a good thing – from hallucinations, paranoia, near-death, disassociation and more.  Granted it wasn’t always from marijuana but there were enough times that were.  And times when young friends went beyond.  Have I headed in the direction of “Reefer Madness?”

Part of me feels like a hypocrite for taking it so lightly in high school, promoting its legalization and now really feeling challenged in having to consider all the ramifications.  Clearly, I have matured in my thinking and have much more reading, studying and evaluating to do before the vote.  I’m glad it is months away!

I know I said it wasn’t going to write about the singular subject of marijuana and kids.  I actually had other things regarding kids on my mind, like the economics of kids and the energy they require.  But  you just don’t know where the fingers will take you once they hit the keyboard.  It’s late now, almost midnight, so I must get ready for bed.  But just one last thing about kids– I just noticed the laptop time clock is off and I don’t know how to fix it, so I’ll have to wait till tomorrow for my 11 year old to take care of it!  Good night!


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Christina said,

    You still have notebooks from almost 40 years ago??

    I don’t know how I feel about it…when asked, I shrug my shoulders. Being illegal makes it a little more difficult to obtain, but if someone really wants it, they’ll find a way. If it were legal and available in any corner drugstore, would it make someone that chooses not to smoke it suddenly want to?

    I can tell I will enjoy reading your blog…and I wanted to say that I completely identify with what you wrote: “Although in high school, I thought I was quite grown up and mature for my age and could make wise choices, in retrospect, I see that as an illusion of youth.”

    • 2

      Thanks for the feedback!!!!

      The packrat in me saves lots of things. That’s why I got the rep of being a good archivist while at UCSC.

      I don’t really think it would suddenly make people who didn’t want to smoke to now want to. I’m sure there are some who would not have considered it, try it. And some who would think, if it’s legal it must be okay. And there are those who would want to but because it wasn’t legal, wouldn’t, but may start. The mind is a tricky thing.

      You’re getting older! Plus, I think as “adult children,” we tend to really believe we are the mature ones because we had to act that way.

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