Finally, some sanity concerning the legalization of marijuana in Colorado (and a few other places.) Not only has the war on drugs cost a bunch of money and lives in terms of the other criminal activity fostered by illegal trade and incarceration, but it simply didn't work to stop those who wanted to use from using. Admitting a problem is the first step in solving a problem.
Now instead of a drain on public resources, sales--controlled much like with wine--will actually add money to state coffers.
At least one of my teens has expressed delight in the current permissive climate.
Health and well-being concerns aside, I have always maintained that deciding to procure and use any illegal substance is contributing to the suffering of those negatively impacted all along the supply chain from gun-totting growers to school kids trying to be safe in the midst of all the danger and vice attracted to communities where illegal drugs are sold. Making a decision to cross the line into illegal drug use ("It's only pot!" my ass) is only a matter of degrees. I know for a fact that some addicts got their first taste for other substances during a run for "only" pot.
So, then, making pot legal means one problem is solved.
As is often the way, an unintended consequence is attached.
"Caste system," my friend said. "Like in Amsterdam."
Seems regulation comes with identification and identification comes with data-bases and data-bases come with identification with a group that cannot now be employed in positions of trust from cab driver to military personnel to those seeking college loans to anyone handling money or with access to keys of any sort or power tools or...
Being identified as a user also makes deciding between two candidates (pothead or not pothead?) pretty simple for employers.
Users that do not want to be identified will still procure from a black market.
Law-abiding citizens that want to use will use proper channels. Stupid-head young boys and girls--packing as we speak for Colorado--will too.
Employers will likely still test in some way for some time. Stoned schoolbus drivers are only funny on The Simpsons.
I have not fact-checked if Amsterdam keeps records on those who purchase pot there but the point still stands. Even if legal, use will be revealed in credit card records or background checks or in some other way. Consequences will remain.
I still think it's the right (honest) direction to go. I still, very much, hope my kids decide not to go there.