The issue of legalizing marijuana is not really as simple as some people would make it seem. There are consequences to any action, and this issue is no different.
The one consequence I would like to address centers around smoking of marijuana in public. I first must say that I do not care if a person smokes marijuana in their own home (so long as there are no children present), but smoking in public is another matter.
Secondhand smoke from marijuana is just as potent as actually smoking it. We are not talking about simply getting a whiff of smoke from a cigarette, which is unpleasant and unhealthy. The smoke from marijuana carries a powerful mind-altering chemical, which when inhaled will cause psychiatric changes in the brain of the person inhaling the smoke. It is temporary, but it is mind-altering.
I do not wish to be walking in a public park or street and be assaulted by someone’s secondhand marijuana smoke. I am going to, as they say in rhetoric, “poison the well,” by saying that anyone who thinks secondhand marijuana smoke does not affect bystanders is misinformed, selfish and irresponsible.
Legal or not, marijuana smokers do not have the right to force their actions on the rest of society. I have seen pictures in the local newspaper of people in Colorado smoking outside in a park. This is wrong and irresponsible on the part of the smokers, and the legislators who enacted the new law allowing marijuana to be used wherever the smoker wishes to use it. In the home, yes, but not outside where it will offend other citizens.
JEFFREY L. CLAYTON