In a comprehensive article, our local newspaper announced the “winners” in the state sanctioned arena of marijuana product manufacturers, who will be licensed to produce such innocuous items as marijuana vaping devices and edibles. It is a headline that I thought I would never see in my beloved state, but then again I spent the better part of a career dealing with the consequences of this drug and attempting to stop it’s proliferation as one of my law enforcement responsibilities.
First of all, let me be among the first in law enforcement to congratulate the proponents of the “limited” legalization of marijuana on your resounding win in the court of public opinion! Your resolve and cleverness was carefully tailored to discount the down sides of yet another hallucinogenic substance on our streets, in a time when the opioid epidemic is delivering great profit to the funeral industry. I must also congratulate those folks who clearly recognized the enormous profitability of delivering this substance to our population in some, make that any, legal form. It is capitalism at it’s very best! May your profits be enormous and your conscience be unburdened. I read where one of the “winners” acknowledged the concern that some responsible parents might harbor in terms of her product coming home in the hands of their children in school. She submitted a plan to mitigate this possibility. How good is that? Never mind that our young people, who might be inclined, WILL find a way to obtain these products. After all, we are wonderfully successful at keeping alcohol away from young folks, aren’t we?
I have no intention here of recounting the sobering statistics arising out of the experiences of those progressive states that have beat us to the punch in this arena. Every voter in Missouri has the same access to this data as I have. I have absolutely no intention of touching on the mystery surrounding the effects of this drug on a human being, we’ll find out soon enough by relying on the results of one of the largest drug trials in history, courtesy of this industry’s resolve and slick salesmanship. After all, there exists mountains of anecdotal evidence to suggest that smoking, eating, and vaping eases the pain and discomfort of the folks who have used it. The validity of this evidence, in the face of mainstream medicine’s generally contrary position, really isn’t an issue. The voters believe it, so it is! Better yet, it is an issue of freedom of choice, right? The fact that folks will, certainly, die on our highways courtesy of some stoners slight overdose of his now accepted medicinal herb is a secondary issue. The proponents of this industry see the occasional loss of life and gateway to more addictive substances as a small consideration when their profitability is at stake. The industry knew there would be enormous profitability in the legalization of this innocuous herb, but they failed to mention that in their wonderfully successful blitz and petitioning. Marketing at it’s best.
I wish my law enforcement friends the very best as they go about enforcing the law relative to the proliferation of this newly approved herb. It should be easy to sort out the origin of the weed in a car and who is doing what with it. Somebody, somewhere will surely have the appropriate documentation for the marijuana that you encounter. Life was much simpler when the possession of an illegal substance stood on it’s own……but we changed the rules at the ballot box. You should take great comfort in knowing that profitability trumps social and legal implications. We all know about the “mellow” high this harmless herb produces. Like the Titanic, this ship has sailed. We now wait for the iceberg. Believe me, it is out there.
Finally, a note to those who see the tremendous benefits of this herb……..
The phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” was first coined by Sophocles in 442 B.C., and has subsequently been used by Shakespeare in Henry IV. Oscar Wilde shook this phrase up a bit when he said “don’t shoot the piano player, he is doing the best that he can”
So is your correspondent.