It is easy to find things in the world to condemn, to be afraid of; marijuana could be one of them. There are many evils to chase away, if you want to. Alcohol might be a better topic to begin with, since it is the
first of the “gateway” drugs and it’s considered socially acceptable. Alcohol is also a dangerous mind altering drug. There is something more important we need to address now and that is “our priorities”. If you want to demonize marijuana then also consider alcohol, food, gambling, and sex; they have all been used to excess and provide a great capacity for destructive behavior.
At the end of the day it comes down to the choices one makes. To do or not do something is a powerful tool we can use. The devil really didn’t make me do it. You can even have fun without excess. Making a lifestyle out of using alcohol and/or drugs seems to be more the issue. Getting your priorities straight is a big part of how intoxicants figure into our daily lives. Rampant excess is something our society is good at.
We don’t always teach our children how to make good choices or to use restraint. Many societal culprits help perpetuate and glamorize drug and alcohol use – just look at your TV, Internet, or the latest cinema release -- when it comes right down to it we need to take responsibility for our actions and teach our children about that too. Actions have consequences.
The people of Colorado have voted to allow its citizens, who want to use cannabis for medical reasons, the right to have access to it. Access to medicine should not get lost in the rhetoric of the drug war or our cultural condemnations. In fact, the town of Lyons has an opportunity to take financial advantage of a growth industry (pun intended) and to set clear boundaries about its accessibility.
There are many issues to consider in allowing dispensaries to operate in Lyons and thoughtful evaluation is important in the process but marijuana is not the demon here. Your children will encounter intoxicants and if you don’t teach them about values or restraint, they will use them. Maybe the lack of a spiritual path or an unclear set of values are the real demons. Most of all we need to look in the mirror and evaluate our own relationship to intoxicants and have an honest, open discussion about what really makes us happy. Then share this with our children, so they can make good, informed decisions too.