Many folks have asked me about my position on recreational marijuana. Those who are for legalizing the drug say it will normalize use and make it unattractive to young people, because there is no risk involved in procuring it.
On the opposite side are those who state that a drug is a drug and marijuana is no exception. So it should remain illegal to buy or use.
For me, this is a slippery slope. In a state where it is legal, if an adult wants to have a small amount on a Friday night instead of alcohol, then so be it. The problem comes when folks over use the substance, just like alcohol. Or they need more of it to create a feeling that they want. The second challenge is keeping it from young people under the age of 25. That is the age when the brain is properly developed. So it is important for all of us to be substance free until that time.
We have no Marijuana Police. In fact, we have no policies that make any sense around the drug. States are in a quandary. Legislators do not have much education on substance use and abuse. And those who want to make it legal for their own profit are professionals at marketing propaganda about marijuana and its medicinal benefits.
We have no longitudinal research data on recreational marijuana use. As a professional in the field, I cannot imagine it would add any beneficial aspects to an already full life. But the jury is out. I suggest we get organized before letting this horse out of the barn.