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Author Topic: Ken Braun: Marijuana legalization protects kids from pot  (Read 2676 times)

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Ken Braun: Marijuana legalization protects kids from pot
« on: July 21, 2015, 06:21:48 PM »
http://www.mlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/07/ken_braun_marijuana_legalizati.html

Ken Braun: Marijuana legalization protects kids from pot

Panicking people with false fears about the kids is a proven election ploy, but there's a limit to how much guano the voters will accept. The laughably inept Proposal 1 campaign this past spring tried to convince us the lives of children were at stake if we didn't vote yes on the convoluted tax and spending plan, and then racked up one of the biggest rejections of a ballot proposal in state history.

Another tough test of this theory might arrive before the year is out. This time, we'll be asked to protect the kids from pot.

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in four states, and a serious debate on the matter in Michigan seems likely. Signatures are being gathered for two different citizen-initiated laws that would go to the voters for their consideration if one isn't approved by lawmakers. A third proposal is reportedly in the works.

While polling currently shows soft majority support for legalization, that won't be enough to carry it across the goal line if the perception takes hold that legalization means putting more pot in the hands of children. Even though regulating a currently lawless market should provide more tools for protecting kids, the "save the children" scare tactic is the only real weapon opponents of weed legalization have left.

They will use it. Asked earlier this year about the pot legalization plans, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he is opposed to "so-called recreational drugs" and cited keeping them from children as his reason.

Alcohol, in various forms, is a clearly recreational drug used widely and legally by adults across the state. It's not unheard of for donors at political fundraisers for Republican candidates to recreate in this way as they fork over dollars and listen to candidates give speeches. This recreational drug use certainly occurs at events attended by the state's top law enforcement official, and it may even take place at events hosted for his benefit.

What doesn't happen at these gatherings is a lot of worrying about the adult recreational use of alcohol spilling over to children. This is because the legal right of bars, restaurants, and liquor stores to profit from its sale to adults is conditional on them policing their own patrons.

These legal dealers of recreational drugs are mostly upstanding business people and parents who don't want kids drinking anyway. But even if these business owners didn't have a conscience, there's a powerful economic incentive at work on them. They risk losing much wealthier, larger and comparatively hassle-free adult customers (such as politicians) if they sell booze to a smaller illegal market of underage buyers.

Obviously, minors still find ways to get a drink. But they've also been finding ways to buy pot for many decades, and our marijuana regulation (or lack thereof) encourages it.

A recreational pot dealer is taking a legal risk whether his buyer is 17 or 70. While there are surely those who currently won't sell to kids, nothing but their conscience is stopping them. All dollars spend the same: A school parking lot is as good a sales counter as a bar at a political fundraiser, and a student can be both a good customer and a well-connected sales associate.

An unregulated recreational drug market sucks in kids at every level. If protecting them is really a law enforcement priority, then the people with an incentive to follow the law — rather than outlaws — should be running the show.

Read more at > http://www.mlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/07/ken_braun_marijuana_legalizati.html
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

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