Editorial #61 Marijuana Legalization April 23, 2019
The Nebraska Legislature is contemplating another dilemma, the question of legalizing marijuana. LB 657 sponsored by Senator Justin Wayne proposes the plant be a cash crop for farmers with uses ranging from providing a replacement for plastic ropes and packaging materials to medicinal applications to reduce pain. As with most laws, there are no perfect solutions from any new regulation.
The arguments used to support this are the standard lists: other states have approved it, it is good for the economy, no sense in outlawing it as people will use it regardless and it is a way of raising tax revenue. These are the same arguments used to promote and justify gambling, other drugs not to mention tobacco or alcohol.
When I used the argument with my mother when I was in high school: “that everyone else is doing it”, she would say: “if they jump off the bridge are you doing to jump too?”
The dilemma is how much do we compromise our core values in the management of society? Do we allow things that are harmful, addictive, subject to abuse and attracts criminal elements into our state because we need the money?
The real question is simple: is it fair, truthful, sustainable and have integrity? This is the test for any law to be considered. If it fails it must not be made into a law.
LB 657, to legalize marijuana, does not pass any of these core value hurdles. It does not have integrity or an honest agenda. The application as a non-consumable industrial product has many redeeming qualities, if no one abused it as a recreational or mind altering drug. The true motive of the promoters is have this be a way to legalize recreational use, where the real money is made, and not for the state.
The claims it is not harmful is a lie with studies showing declines of 6-8 IQ points in habitual users, leading to twice the likelihood for opioid abuse. Consumers under 25 are the most affected, causing life-long learning disabilities and mental problems ranging from impulsivity to schizophrenia.
The attraction for black-market sales is irresistible with states that legalized cannabis seeing over 70% of the product distributed illegally, avoiding any taxes.
It is not fair to have parents and children deal with another issue that is not constructive, adding to the list of distractions that our next generation already faces on the way to becoming productive citizens. The only benefit we can expect from this experiment is a few tax dollars that will be quickly spent dealing with increased health problems, more crime and lower academic achievement with no evidence of any real societal improvement occurring.
Contact your State Senator to have them vote no on LB 657: Legalization of Marijuana.
This is Keith Kube wishing you the best in making the world a better place.