Sending the Wrong message to our Children?

20120920 KidsBooze Sending the Wrong message to our Children? With Washington, Colorado and Oregon voting this November on whether or not Marijuana would be legal for adults 21 and over, much controversy is on the rise. One of the arguments I hear over and over again is that “Legalizing Marijuana would send the wrong message to the kids”. But the question that is on everyone’s mind is; “Will it really?” And even more importantly by not legalizing Marijuana what message are we sending to the kids? Marijuana Legalization pros grossly outweigh the cons and prohibitionists are doing their best to convince the general public that the opposite is true. But let’s strip down this argument to its core and scrutinize it in order to find out if by legalizing marijuana we’d really be sending the wrong message to our kids. So what really is the message we’ll be sending to our children if we were to legalize marijuana? First of all yes, you’ll essentially be saying that it is okay for an adult to consume cannabis responsibly in the comfort of his or her own home. Is that really so bad? Currently we’re sending out a message that consuming cannabis is completely and utterly wrong; the moment that a child smokes his or her first doobie, they quickly find out that smoking marijuana is far safer than alcohol and tobacco (the legal drugs on the market). In fact no one has ever overdosed from smoking marijuana but the roughly 400,000 deaths due to tobacco consumption and the 75,000 deaths relating to alcohol sends quite a different message to our kids. By keeping marijuana illegal and not being congruent with our approach to other harmful drugs we are essentially saying; “It’s okay to drink alcohol and smoke tobacco, just stay away from weed!” boy smoking Sending the Wrong message to our Children? Is this really the message we want to emit to our children? That more harmful drugs are deemed okay by society, but the safer choice will land you in jail? Secondly by legalizing marijuana would we not be sending a much less harmful message to our children, a message of responsible drug consumption? Let’s face it, by not legalizing marijuana we’ll only maintain a policy that hasn't worked for many decades now. Are we really that naive to believe that by continuing with our failed approach that something is going to change? Do we really believe that children are safer from drug abuse now in an unregulated market? I think any sane person with at least some level of intellect would be able to draw a conclusion that our current approach of drug prohibition has utterly failed. And more importantly sending a mixed message to our children doesn't come from legalizing Marijuana…it comes from keeping it illegal. It’s time that we exercise reason and understanding instead of prohibitionist rhetoric that has been used over and over since the beginning of prohibition in the late 1930’s. It’s time that we start sending the right message to our children…that each and every adult has the freedom to do to his or her own body as he or she wishes…emphasis on the adult.
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