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Does legal marijuana initiate public and private safety risks?

 As Baby Boomers begin their massive entrance into the healthcare realm of geriatrics, marijuana legalization has become a key issue.  Lest we forget this is the generation that created the Summer of Love, revitalized the Women’s Movement and made Elvis King of Rock and Roll. They were our rebel generation.  According to Pew Research,  they’ve become strong advocates of legalization, outpacing the Millennials. Their knowledge of care taking for their adult parents has taught them many a hard lesson regarding negative side effects of painkillers.  From liver and kidney poisoning to increasing dementia, they directly witness the current geriatric pain medication vulnerabilities. Our youngest American generation of voters bear witness to millions of their friends becoming opioid abusers.  Both generations can testify that marijuana can be a “healthier” alternative to pain medication while helping ease the addiction and withdrawal of a generation of pill poppers.  But how does legalization affect all generations? We must enact legal requirements to make sure we can enjoy the high while not spreading harm.

Is Marijuana on the Job A Concern?

A note of concern when discussing legalization is the fact that businesses still test for marijuana in hiring and accidents on the job.  The U.S. has not truly rebounded from the Great Recession leaving millions of peoples jobs vulnerable. People are refused employment, fired for being under the influence while at work or in an accident at work or better yet, even while driving. If pot is legal then shouldn’t it be legal everywhere at every time of the day-work, leisure or else?  If not then legalization will create a new type of social control to keep poor just that, poor. According to a study in the Journal of Drug Issues people making less than $20,000 a year are nearly a third of daily smokers.  These daily smokers risk losing their low paying jobs if they have drug tests at work.  The second highest non-High School diploma smokers. Can these people afford to test “hot” for a job?  Since Baby Boomers, our revolutionary generation, are the leaders in most courthouses, law firms and legislative positions they can help define the current generations ability to get high but not go dry.  L

Driving Under The Influence Increases Road Risks

Legalization should include stipulations across all the laws of a state, city or municipality to protect all of us on the roads.  According to national statistics, 12.6% of drivers involved in accidents had THC in their blood.  The number of DUID accidents doubled between 2007 and 2015, creating an alert for our safety.  Colorado has one of the most comprehensive laws to battle DUID requiring a drug blood level be 5ng/ml or lower for allowable driving.  This all boils down to someone smoking three spliffs probably shouldn’t be driving a forklift, school bus or a car. Even though marijuana is deemed the happy high, regulating a harvest for taxes should include regulation for public safety.

Second-Hand Smoke Is Illegal

We have all been told that second-hand smoke is dangerous even causing cancer and COPD in people we live with if we smoke indoors.  But we haven’t discussed how second-hand marijuana smoke affects these same people. According to Harvard studies, second-hand marijuana smoke has increased 5% in children during the past ten years while decreasing 7% in cigarette smoking.  Smoke is smoke and either can cause harm. The difference is children are being forced under the influence of drugs with marijuana. Grandma and grandpa are advocating and voting in large numbers for marijuana legislation but are they paying attention to the effects on their grandkids.  Second-hand marijuana smoke in children can cause negative effects in executive function, memory, and even IQ.  Once these effects are detected in children through failing grades, cognitive skills and other “alerts” reported by a slew of teachers, neighbors and family members, grandparents must step in before the kids are wards of the state.  You see, human services and children and family services across America are inundated with reports on “high” kids. When the state begins the treacherous legal systemic maze for parents to win custody of their children back, grandma and grandpa step in as the parents.

Grandparents Raising Grandkids Spreads

We are witnessing the massive opioid orphans epidemic across America similar to the crack babies of the late ’80s and ’90s.  America already has 2.7 million grandparents raising their next generation. These grandparents continue a decline into poverty as social security shrinks compared to the cost of living. It only looks worse as children in foster care increased 1% in 2013 and 3.5% in 2014 and opioids keep on ticking.  We must have a national law regarding second-hand smoke inhalation that’s getting kids high. We must teach parents the proper way of smoking pot or our nation will ensure more economic and familial displacement.  

Today’s actions can have positive or negative effects on all generations. Make sure when you vote for legalization of marijuana, you vote for familial and economic stability with a plan of action.

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