I have been hearing a lot of conversation about legalizing and taxing marijuana in California as a way of raising additional revenue to help resolve the budget crisis. Obviously, that is the way things are headed and after reading a certain news story this week, the push is on to do just that.
It is interesting that while the statistics show that the war on drugs has played a major role in the drop in crime in the US, police and retired judges and prosecutors see it as people’s lives ruined for small drug infractions. I guess that would make sense in accordance with how those who abuse alcohol are treated. Unless someone is involved in an accident that takes the life of another person, a drunk driver can rack up any number of arrests for driving under the influence and never have to pay for it in any way except monetarily. And for those who are drunk and beat up their family members, you will usually find them back out on the street the next day with all charges dropped because they will promise their families that it will happen again if they do not drop the charges.
But, there is another factor here that is not being considered and I am speaking from my own experience and for a great many other people that I know who have been the victims of domestic abuse. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and when he drank to excess, he was silly and would eventually pass out. However, once he started smoking marijuana along with his drinking, he became a mean, abusive person who had no problem beating up on me and putting a loaded gun in my face. I never fought back, except to try to get myself out of the direct line of the gun, because all that would do was make him angrier and meaner. And the next day when he sobered up, he was always so apologetic and sorry for what he had done.
So to all of those who are the big proponents of legalizing marijuana, I know that neither you nor your family members have been the victim of those who are users. More than likely, you are a user yourself if you are in favor of such a proposal. And if you are neither of the above, then I would appreciate it if you would take the time to learn more about marijuana and its effects before you would vote for such legislation.
I realize that money can buy just about anything for those who have the funds so it may not matter to the affluent users. I also know that many would argue that if they make marijuana legal and thus easier and cheaper to buy, then there would be even less crime but that is very short-sighted. Please stop to consider the number of marijuana users who also drink at the same time. What about those who move on to other drugs? And what about those who will end up not only ruining their lives but also the lives of many others because of what the drug can do to them?
No one knows what goes on behind closed doors so please consider how the real problems may actually grow by approving a measure like this just for the sake of more money. Consider how you would feel if you had a family member who was in harm’s way as a result. Not even one life lost as a result is worth all of the revenue that may be collected but this is just my personal view and opinion as I have been there.
I am interested in your comments.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.