The enemy within
Legalizing pot is the first step on a short road to total moral decay
By Victor Cass 09/09/2010
This November, Californians will vote on the future of this country. And it starts right here in California with the marijuana vote. Proposition 19 represents more than a misguided effort to decriminalize “casual” users and make a little money for cash-strapped California. This is ultimately an ideological struggle between one way of life, represented by all that’s good in America, and another way of life that stands poised to destroy us from within. And it all comes down to whether voters think legalizing marijuana is a good or bad idea.
We’ve all heard both sides of the debate. The War on Drugs is a failure. Legalizing pot can generate millions of dollars worth of needed revenue and eradicate drug-trade violence. It eases the pain of terminal disease sufferers, plus weed isn’t half as bad as alcohol and tobacco. However, opponents of the measure claim marijuana is also full of health risks, drug dealers will still have a market to minors and, with legalization, a reduction in violence would be minimal.
I’m going to present what should be the only argument for never legalizing marijuana or any other illegal drug for that matter — our children. And here’s the litmus test: Would you want your kids smoking legalized weed?
If you’re a privileged teen from a good home and become a long-term pot smoker, at best you’ll be a lazy, overweight disappointment who’s financially supported by your parents until the marijuana exacerbates whatever underlying personality disorders you have. Then you’ll have your first mental health break, usually during your freshman year of college, if you even make it to college. You will drop out, move back home and spend the rest of your days in and out of psychotherapy, becoming a burden to your family and to society.
Now, picture if you will, an at-risk youth from a low-income neighborhood in Any City, USA. Throw in a nonexistent or incarcerated father, a drug-addicted mother with a violence-prone boyfriend, pressure from street gangs, violent classmates, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neuro-psychological issues like ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and let this kid get his hands on marijuana.
Legalize marijuana and drug dealers will still thrive, preying on children and teens. There will still be drug-related violence. The Mexican cartels will just tweak their operation a little and the war will continue. All the so-called taxes that you hoped to raise from the “legalized” pot will have to be spent on mental health, homeless and joblessness benefits incurred by the drug users, as well as other medical and social services.
The problem isn’t that the War on Drugs is a failure. You see, law enforcement held up its end of the war. We did not. If everyone had done their jobs, law enforcement and the courts would be just one successful spoke in a wheel of societal success stories involving parenting, education, empowerment, employment, leadership and drug and alcohol treatment. But no, we all wanted to sit back and wallow in collective bad behavior and then point at law enforcement, as if they were the only group that should have been tasked with waging a war on drugs, and blame them for the failure, as if they were supposed to play handmaiden to us all and raise our kids for us while interdicting drug smugglers.
If we vote to legalize marijuana, we’ve lost our children forever. They will never respect you or me as parents or value anything we ever told them. Our children will think we are all hypocrites and liars. Our children will shake their heads in shame and say, “How could you — who always taught me to do the right thing and say NO to drugs — have voted for this?”
Marijuana is the broken window in the “broken window” theory of neighborhood decay. It’s the first bad decision in an inevitable string of increasingly worse decisions, because after legalizing pot, legalizing cocaine won’t seem so outlandish, and then methamphetamine. Pretty soon people committing crime while high on drugs will just “come with the territory.” Then what else will we tolerate? Outsourcing our protection to armed gangs of narco-criminals, like in Mexico? Doing away with law and order altogether?
Remember NIMBYs? NIMBY stands for “Not In My Back Yard,” and was usually the reaction by citizens whenever someone wanted to start a program or build something that that could have a detrimental effect on a neighborhood.
I’m going to coin a new term here, NIMFAB — Not In My Flesh and Blood. And I’m going to stand up and be counted as the first official NIMFAB. I have an intelligent, kind-hearted, patriotic, religious and beautiful 9-year-old daughter who believes in giving back to her community and helping people. She already knows what college she wants to go to and what she wants to do for a career.
I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up and surrender to legalized marijuana or any other legalized craziness. And I’m not going to sit around and watch a bunch of dopers tear this great nation apart. I’m going to rail against this and stand up for what’s right. I’m going to do it for my daughter, and for all of her awesome friends, and for all of our children. Because I’m not willing to sacrifice a whole generation of our young people so that pot smokers can be “decriminalized” or so that California can raise money. Not drug money! Not ever. Legalizing marijuana is the first step to the social and moral decay of the United States, and that is a bad idea.
Victor Cass is an author and an officer with the Pasadena Police Department.