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Legalizing marijuana leads to bigger issues

It seems that it was just yesterday that buying marijuana was a legal offense.

Drunk driving is still punishable. Buying and selling drugs is illegal. All of these things cause judgment impairment, and users have become dependent on the effects that these things bring to them.

Here we are almost 20 years into the 21st century, and as a country, we are seeing a growing marijuana enterprise with the legalization of pot for not only medical reasons, but for recreational use, too.

“The nation is going to pot” is no longer just a saying about the general health of it.

It is now a veritable statement. Instead of smoking plain tobacco, we may look forward to people lighting up in their car just to make the drive home a little happier.

We no longer have to just worry about a drunk driver plowing into our cars, but a pot-smoking toker who is out of control. And we still have the cocaine, heroin and other drug users to worry about.

Legalizing weed is opening up another avenue for users to get high. What happened to the research that confirmed the use of marijuana leads to other hard habits?

Young people who get introduced to it are exposed to the greater possibility of becoming hooked on a gateway habit and can lead to the use of other harmful habits of harder drug use, alcohol and smoking.

If not all of these, surely it would lead to the regular use of pot.

As with many illegal drugs, marijuana can also be combined with harmful substances and can lead to other problems. Do we, as a nation, want our future progeny to be introduced to something that can be habit forming?

If people don’t believe that smoking marijuana can lead to other things, they just need to check out the research.

Do we need to worry about business owners, government employees or anyone we deal with being high from recreational pot use during working hours?

How does that impairment relate to important decisions made regarding government business and functions, to hiring practices and working in positions of responsibility?

I’m sure that we can all recall a situation where someone was going to work while they were using illegal drugs and alcoholics going to work while under the influence. The stories hit the newspaper pages regularly.

Our country seems to be joining a number of countries where drug trafficking is a constant problem.

On the other side are some European countries that have had a relaxed attitude toward it. To date, there are 26 countries where most of them have legalized the recreational use of weed.

But some of these still can jail and/or fine the user. The limit for personal use ranges from five to 20 grams. Do we really want to make it legal? What is the next step — legalizing heroin, cocaine and opium?

Light up or leave me alone?

Gwen Black

Hollidaysburg

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