What the Opposition is Left With

Weed Damages Developing Brains.™
Pot Causes Schizophrenia in Teens.™

This is what it comes down to. What the opposition is left to argue. And it’s pathetic. It’s pathetic because it is a problem with no political solution. It amounts to arguing: “We need the state to save us from ourselves–and–our kids from their parents.” Don’t believe me? Look what happens when we substitute other dangerous life things in place of pot:

Chainsaw juggling is dangerous for kids.
Contact football damages developing brains.
Sniffing glue causes insanity and death.

The world is full of dangerous things. Hell, most of the things people like are dangerous: sex, sports, loud music, snack food, driving to work… But we don’t call in the government to save us from choosing these things. Policy is for limiting what we can do to OTHER people, not ourselves. So why are drugs an exception?

Here’s what both sides can agree on: Nobody wants kids around dangerous drugs, just ask this couple from Michigan or this couple from Texas about that. With drugs in the picture, Child Protective Services and the law enforcement community become the bad guys. Another way to say that is: When the government is invited to police consensual behavior, the government becomes the enemy.

But, let’s humor the opposition and suppose that legalizing and selling pot will put an eighth under every child’s pillow tomorrow night. What is the medical harm that marijuana can do to children? I’ve summarized the conclusive scientific research that shows how bad it is for kids to consume pot in the box below:

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Sorry, you expected more? In fact, the jury is still out on this. There are even a few studies that suggest that not only does marijuana not harm infants and youths, but that it may be of some benefit!

And a team of researchers from Harvard just ended the schizophrenia debate.

The Children are the third rail of drug policy. Nobody wants to suggest that pot may not harm kids–for squeamish people, that’s too close to suggesting that kindergarteners ought to be doing bong rips.

But we all want to protect the kids until the age of consent. Nobody is arguing that kids should have pot. So let’s not mix legal ethics with science. Those are two very different things and there’s no need to conflate them as if they were one and the same. Pot may not be all that harmful to kids–we just don’t know–BUT we all ALREADY agree that we don’t want them to have it! So the precautionary principle applies until they are of such age that they are no longer kids and can decide for themselves if they want it in their lives.

A message to the rest of us–the adults: It’s time to stand up to the political blackmail that is “Saving The Children”… by ignoring it and getting back to discussing how to regulate pot effectively. The hysterical opposition (I’m looking at you, Smart Colorado) should be excluded until they’re ready to act like adults.

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