In her Aug. 28 column, Cindy Bargell says, “Before passage of Amendment 64 the discussion was easier [because] of the black and white line of legality.” While David Sirota in his recent column notes Dr. Sanja Gupta’s apology, “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States (about marijuana), and I apologize for my own role in that.”
Amendment 64 parallels Amendment 21 of the U.S. Constitution which prohibits violations of state laws regarding alcohol. State and local governments were required to implement Amendment 21with laws as local governments are doing with Amendment 64. This “trickle down” effect impacts Summit County towns as noted in recent SDN articles.
Where does the bud stop — federal, state, local? Closer to home—it stops with the family. Laws were made to be broken, especially by children and youth. The greatest deterrent to pot misuse is families dialoguing openly with their children, giving the truth concerning marijuana. Too long it has been lumped with heroin, cocaine and alcohol as dangerous. Even as local ordinances will implement age restrictions, under age kids will experiment and find out marijuana is not as dangerous as told, thus providing an open invitation to go farther and deeper with hard drugs. I learned this the hard way with my kids. I also influenced them negatively by romanticizing my hippie days (“If this is Thursday I must be in Katmandu…and if you remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.”)
I quit marijuana in the ’70s, entering into 37 years of profession counseling assisting many with substance abuse and addiction problems. Retiring to Summit I now partake the occasional splif not as a hypocrite but a local who chooses to celebrate Amendment 64, indirectly thanking all who labored in this direction.