Legal marijuana a step back

Generally, though I may not always like to, I can accept when a decision or vote does not go the way I think it should and move on. But occasionally, that isn’t the case, and the vote to legalize recreational marijuana falls definitively into the latter category. Humans can be short-sighted and naive under the allure of money and freedom, leading to bad decisions and bad laws that need to be improved on.

I was recently having a conversation with my sister-in-law, who incidentally supports legalization, and she shared with me her frustration over a certain aspect of their apartment dwelling life. It seems they have an adjacent neighbor who regularly enjoys indulging in his new freedom and the smoke from his habit enters their apartment and at times can be rather pungent. It so happens that my 8-month-old nephew lives in that same apartment and like any decent mother, my sister-in-law doesn’t want him breathing the junk. But there is little she can do about it. Even when the owner of the complex designates it a no-smoking complex, as many have, it does little to help. This scenario is playing out in apartments and multi-unit dwellings across our state and it is not acceptable.

The choice to legalize a drug that is smoked was a step backward in terms of personal freedom despite what voters may have had in mind. If you are fortunate enough to live in your own house (and not have a neighbor who uses), just go for a walk in downtown Seattle on a weekend night and find out for yourself how much choice you have whether to breathe the drug or not. Though I don’t support recreational use of pot at all, legalizing only an edible version would have made at least some sense.

And if you believe the studies that marijuana use among young people has decreased, you either don’t have school-aged kids, or yours aren’t talking to you about what has changed since pot became legal. Mine are and it is sad.

Brandy Garton


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