The Corner

Re: Bias Toward Liberty

Two dissenting readers: 

I have worked in the criminal justice system for 20 years, and I could not disagree more with the attitude that since marijuana is not addictive, it should be legal.  If marijuana is not addictive, it is certainly very strongly habituating.  In the criminal system, the vast majority of crimes committed stem from the illegal use of drugs and alcohol.   It is very common to see marijuana DUIs, and in most cases the marijuana DUIs involve traffic accidents as opposed to simple traffic stops.  In other cases where drug addictions are root causes, there is strong evidence that marijuana use is present in addition to other drugs.  Also, at least from my perspective, most addicts start their life in drugs with marijuana and never really give that up although they do continue to consume other drugs and alcohol as well.  And I cannot tell you how many people I have seen come through this system with lives rendered completely useless because they can’t quit weed.

Addictive?  Maybe, maybe not.  Damaging?  Absolutely.

And: 

I’m a felony drug prosecutor in the county just north of Chicago, and have prosecuted drug charges for a few years now.  The scary part of this debate being raised at this time is that parents are profoundly uninformed about the dangers of today’s cannabis because they presume it’s the same pot they smoked in their “hippie” period.  THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gives its users the high, is technically classified as a psychoactive/hallucinogenic drug.  Thanks to the blessings of capitalism (the incentive to “build a better mouse trap”), the THC levels of today’s cannabis is off the charts.  The pot that baby boomers used to smoke was about 2.5-5% THC.  A great deal of the cannabis on the streets is hydroponically grown, making its THC levels in the 30% range.  The long-term affects of smoking this kind of concentration would shock many of these parents and if they truly had their children’s best interests in mind, they would never favor decriminalization.