I am very proud of the state of Washington for passing Initiative 502 regarding marijuana. Not only will it pump funds into the system, both from the 25 percent excise tax and from overhead savings, but also because it will create a balanced approach to drug abuse prevention.
It moves marijuana from being a “forbidden fruit” for some and makes it something that people can be educated on and choose what is best for them and their family. Keeping in mind that many citizens with chronic pain or ailments choose to use marijuana as an alternative medicine, the initiative provides a safer option for those who do not want to take an addictive, stronger pain reliever but haven’t been able to do so due to previous laws.
The argument that marijuana is a “gateway drug” to harsher drugs has yet to be proven, and decades of ads, commercials, campaigns and rallies to counter the use of marijuana have been unsuccessful.
Although I have never been a user of marijuana, either recreationally or medically, I am realistic enough to know that marijuana is not something that will simply just go away. However, if we can put boundaries on the distributors, pull our state out of the budgetary hole it is in with the tax revenue and take criminal activity out of the picture, I’m not quite sure why one would not want this change to occur.