Omar M. Campbell: Just say ‘no’
September 22, 2012
Legalizing marijuana in Colorado will be on the general election ballot Nov. 6. Advocates seem unconcerned or oblivious to the fact that it is illegal under federal law.
Legalizing "medical" marijuana in 2000 was the first step in the advocates' long-term strategy to eventually make the drug legal. That is where we are now — with some restrictions on age, quantity, etc.
Now that the voters are softened up after a decade-plus of hype and the establishment of "caregivers" and their pot emporiums, advocates feel the time is ripe for an initiative. As I recall, medical marijuana was approved by about 54 percent statewide in 2000 and by a disappointing 65 percent in Routt County. It might be higher this fall because of medical marijuana.
The leading argument for the legalization of pot is that it is no worse than alcohol or tobacco. I am inclined to agree with the former, but not the latter. Use of alcohol and pot cause "highs" and mental and physical impairments. A California study showed that pot users were twice as likely to cause auto accidents as non-users. Tobacco, on the other hand, is bad for physical health but does not cause mental impairment leading to accidents.
DUID enforcement for driving under the influence of pot would be very difficult to prove. The state is working on a complex test for the primary harmful chemical in pot. It appears that there is no easy test for pot as there is for alcohol. Perhaps an officer's "sniff test" of breath and clothing would do? A sharp lawyer would have a field day with that one.
TV tickers say that the feds are cracking down on the out-of-control pot situation in California. Will Colorado be next?
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If you haven't already made up your mind, think first of our youth, our community, its reputation and DUID increases when doing so.
Omar M. Campbell