Omar M. Campbell: See how pot plays out |

Omar M. Campbell: See how pot plays out

Hopefully, everyone read the commentary by David Brooks, "Weed: been there done that," which was published Jan. 7 in the Steamboat Today. In brief, he and some high school buddies were into smoking marijuana. He became stoned at noon one day and had an English assignment that afternoon. He only could stumble through it, unable to form the simplest phrases and sentences. The experience was the worst embarrassment of his life. That was his last personal experience with a mind-altering drug.

Colorado and Washington state rapidly are gaining notoriety for their "legalization" of pot in defiance of federal law. It will be interesting to watch what happens with out-of-state tourists. Tongue-in-cheek, it could be a boon to the local economy and sales tax collection! Horrors. Do we really want that kind of community reputation?

Stoned drivers will be hard to deal with because of the exceedingly small quantity of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) it takes to impair cognitive and motor centers in the brain. It only takes five nanograms (five-billionths) of THC per cubic centimeter of blood to cause legal impairment. That is a mighty small amount and demonstrates the potency of pot. THC from inhaling into the lungs affects the brain very quickly.

There are dozens of harmful side effects of pot besides those that affect the brain. They range from the major organs to runny noses. Look on Google for an exhaustive list.

Back in 2010, I wrote, "Touting medical marijuana is basically an end-run ploy by advocates to eventually legitimize and legalize a Schedule 1 gateway drug." The strategy was to soften up the electorate to eventually vote for legalization. It worked! It is constitutional law in Colorado, no less. The local "caregivers" roundly chastised me for that comment and took exception in their blogosphere.

On Jan. 20, our national CEO gave his tacit approval of legalizing pot. Predictably, there now will be no enforcement of law from the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder predictably and promptly announced that banks now may process drug money — also ignoring federal law. "Caregivers" now can go to the bank — laughing all the way. As with President Barack Obama's "evolution" (a euphemism for flip-flop) on gay marriage, legalization of pot will get lots of liberal votes for his party.

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It is going to be interesting to see how pot legalization plays out in the long run. Will our family-oriented reputation survive?

Omar M. Campbell

Steamboat Springs

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