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Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana–Please DON’T Pass the Brownies

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My family moved to Colorado when I was eight. It was a hard move for me. I left two amazing friends behind back on Barnswood Lane in Michigan. I can still remember pulling out and waving goodbye to those wonderful neighbors as we drove down the street. I can see Brandon and Betsy waving in the distance. I remember the tears, the fear and the anticipation. As sad as it may have been it was also very exciting.

It was 1981 and the world as I knew it changed for me that year. We moved into a great house on a quiet cul-de-sac in suburbia. We had a HUGE yard that my dad fenced, landscaped, put in a garden, a fruit tree section and eventually a swing set and a balance beam for his budding young gymnast.

My dad and my brother played t-ball back there, our dog chased the soccer ball back there – my brother and I helped in the garden (spiders and all) back there.

It snowed a lot when I was little and nothing was more fun. Even the blizzards, when the power went out and we scrambled for flashlights, lit fires in the fireplace for warmth and light. I think my childhood in Colorado helped shape my love for winter and my overall love for Colorado.

I love the weather, I love Mountains and sense of peace, pride and community I have experienced for the past 31 years. I have never had a desire to leave this beautiful place full of so many memories and experiences.

Until now. Today I am feeling, well, feeling less proud to be from the great state of Colorado.

Today, and for many days to come, I will struggle to explain why something with such detrimental possibilities has become legal in our state and why even though it is illegal on the federal level people here can buy it, grow it and use it.

I will have a tougher time explaining “JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS” because well, apparently we here in the state of Colorado don’t thing Marijuana is a drug.

Today I will have a conversation with my children about brownies, and lollipops and it won’t involve the sugar content.

The mile high state. I used to be proud. Now it will be the “butt” of jokes.

As I drift off to sleep I will have visions of pot heads packing up their cars, taking a bong hit and heading West to Colorado (or East, or North, or South) where they can do so legally.

I will have visions of my children heading off to play dates and me saying:

“Have fun honey and remember – mind your manners and don’t eat the brownies!”

I don’t want to raise children in a state with legal, easy access to a drug, a gateway drug, a drug.

Darn you Colorado – What were you thinking on November 6th?

Or perhaps you weren’t. As a wise woman said, “Perhaps you were high when you voted.”

Guest blogger Terra turned to blogging at Sitting on an Oak as a quicker, easier way to chronicle her days of motherhood and she hopes it will be something her two young daughters will refer to for guidance and remembrance. Her candid posts are humorous, often interactive, light, and entertainingly appropriate for all to read and enjoy. She has always loved to write and published several children’s books under the pen name Campbell Lawson. Disclaimer: -This post is just her opinion. If you disagree you have that right but please be kind with your comments.

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Comments
  • comment avatar Bonnie November 8, 2012

    I live in Colorado but moved here as a young adult. We moved here with a vision of starting a new life and raising our family here and we have done that. We have one boy who just started middle school and one who just started high school. They are at such an impressionable age where I’m sure they are already having to make decisions about drugs and other issues. It is a scary thought to me wondering what kind of message this sends to them. Does it give them a green light to experiment?

    Thank you for your post and insight.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 8, 2012

    I posted about this yesterday on my Facebook page and got quite the discussion going (I’ll have to post some of those comments here as well). With the deluge of marijuana dispensaries here, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it’s deeply disappointing to me. Wrong is wrong, even if the intent was to get money from taxing it.

  • comment avatar Jennifer November 8, 2012

    This article is close minded and uninformed. It is not going to be a free for all with people taking “bong hits” driving west like you say. It will all be regulated like alcohol. So are you for prohibition too?
    Are you scared your children will be served alcohol when they go for a play date on your cul de sac? If you are nervous that your kids will be served pot brownies at a play date then you may want to rethink who’s house you are sending them to.

    Alcohol is way worse than marijuana on all accounts and is perfectly legal. More people have died from alcohol than any other drug or substance out there. Check your facts and use some common sense before writing such a ridiculous article.

    • comment avatar Kayla November 14, 2012

      I’m not disappointed in the voters, in fact, I feel safer having my children here than I do in Michigan where we moved from. I knew many kids in high school, who against their parents wishes smoked marijuana behind their backs. It’s illegal… and because it wasn’t regulated I had a friend hospitalized because some horrible chemicals were added into something natural that is supposed to be safe. She nearly died.

      I for one am happy it’s going to be more difficult to get hold of because those teens are less likely to just get it.

      If you look at what happened in Portugal they decriminalized ALL drugs and the usage dropped, it’s among the lowest in the EU. We should decriminalize drugs and treat people when they show up dirty… Some addicts are afraid to seek help because it IS illegal, how are they being productive members of society? Also, making it legal to do does not mean it’s legal to sell… The user faces not penalty for them but there is for the dealer. It would clean up our streets but people are so afraid that it COULD make it worse, heck if it does… go back to prohibiting the use of them.

  • comment avatar Karen November 8, 2012

    Having visited Colorado many times, it actually doesn’t surprise me that much.

  • comment avatar Diane November 8, 2012

    I have never smoked pot or any drugs. I voted for this, in support of those suffering from terminal illnesses that use pot to ease their suffering.

    • comment avatar Christa Palmer November 8, 2012

      That’s a very compassionate thing to do.

  • comment avatar Tonya November 8, 2012

    Washington leagalized it too and Oregon had it on the ballot but it was defeated….this time.

  • comment avatar NoWay November 8, 2012

    Diane–Are you serious?! They already have access to it. This will open a floodgate we can’t even begin to comprehend.

  • comment avatar Heather November 8, 2012

    I still don’t really get why pot isn’t legal but booze is… but I am not sure how I feel about this. It will be an interesting “experiment” and I hope CO doesn’t go up in smoke.

  • comment avatar Joann November 8, 2012

    This is one Boulderite NOT celebrating. There are so many far-reaching issues with this amendment that have not been discussed.

  • comment avatar Diane November 8, 2012

    Yes, this seems to have been what started this push to legalize it. They started closing and limiting medical access to pot.

  • comment avatar NoWay November 8, 2012

    They were talking on the radio how this could actually HELP tourism. Come to Colorado to get high! Let’s market to potheads instead of viable families. Almost laughable.

  • comment avatar Kristy November 8, 2012

    It will save loads of money on a futile drug war. And now it can be taxed, which makes more money for the state. There are advantages to legalizing it.

  • comment avatar NoWay November 8, 2012

    That’s how they have marketed it. Look! Now we can help schools and your kids through taxing it. It’s like our moral compass has gone haywire. Wrong is wrong.

  • comment avatar Sue November 8, 2012

    Watch the people move in!!

  • comment avatar Vikki November 8, 2012

    See ya next week :)

  • comment avatar Sue November 8, 2012

    As John Denver sang, “Rocky Mountain HIGH, Colorado.”

  • comment avatar Gretchen November 8, 2012

    Hickenlooper said something like, “Don’t bust out the Cheetos yet.” It’s still against federal law, so it will be tied up in the court system for years and years to come.

  • comment avatar Rebecca November 8, 2012

    They legalized it in Washington State too!

  • comment avatar Denise November 8, 2012

    I don’t think you’ll see much change in your life. There isn’t going to be refer madness on the streets! Do you go to the mall and see people walking around with martinis in their hands? I am curious to see how it plays out with the Federal Gov’t.

  • comment avatar maureen November 8, 2012

    Keep the sheeple high ….that’s how Pot smokin O and his cronies will keep the masses dumbed down…including the halls of lower learning.

  • comment avatar Heather November 8, 2012

    I have always loved Colorado and felt it was the best place to live….I just feel so let down!!! Can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that the majority of Colorado thinks it’s ok to get stoned!

  • comment avatar Kristy November 8, 2012

    Another positive – it will make marijuana in the states better quality (less harmful) and cheaper, taking money away from dangerous Mexican cartels. I realize you don’t like it, but I just see it on the same level as alcohol now and can see many positive aspects to the legalization.

  • comment avatar zugzug November 8, 2012

    maybe this mile high mama should keep moving herself and her family to utah. utah will NEVER allow such a law to be passed because of the mormon influence there and their intolerance to such self indulgence.

  • comment avatar JoAnn November 8, 2012

    Codeine, Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol, Marijuana. These things are what they are, and I’ve never seen regulation as a bad thing. In fact, I don’t see these things as inherently “bad,” at all. In my opinion, how they’re used may not be the best choices and may have undesired effects. If you want to be shocked, look at what our kids have access to via parents’ prescriptions! LEGAL things. By the time your kids reach Middle School or High School, research “Pharm Parties.”

    Will this Amendment change anything about what happens in our house or in our neighborhood? Nope. Not at all. Nobody spikes my kid’s Kook-Aid, so I doubt we’ll have to worry about the brownies! We pride ourselves in making the best choices that we can, and I can assure you that our neighbors are making whatever decisions they’re making, too, regardless of “laws.” We should be focussing on the things that are truly a danger to our children and not worry about these Prohibition-esque scare tactics.

  • comment avatar Victoria November 8, 2012

    If its legal or not its easy to get our hands on. And kids are going to experiment if its legal or not! Its our job as parents to educate our kids and raise them to the best ability we have possible that they make the right decisions. It’s not the governments role to raise our kids and tell them what is right and wrong. If that was the case lying would be praised. I think we have way bigger issues then marijuana like pain killers that parents use and their kids get a hold of them and become addicted to pain killers. Those have actually caused fatalitys not smoking a joint. I think instead of sitting here complaining and not being able to wrap you head around it is just stupid!! Alcohol has been around and the cause for so many accidents or judgement impair for so long its a lot more harmful then weed. It’s a great move for Colorado why not give it a chance then talk.

  • comment avatar Brenda November 8, 2012

    I think this post is great in that it opens it up for discussion. Obviously you’ll have extreme people on each side. No where, no how, no time is this appropriate, those who use who are obviously for it and those who want to see it taxed. I’m personally against it but I can see both sides of the equation. I agree prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and something needs to be done about that. I have friends who have medical marijuana cards. When I asked why they don’t request it in pill form, they said it’s more fun to smoke it. I wonder if this would be a different argument if people weren’t actually smoking it and they would be made into pills? There’s definitely a stigma attached to smoking or shooting up drugs.

  • comment avatar Heather November 8, 2012

    I’m quite ashamed of this decision as well. I fully understand the purposes of medical usage, but legalizing it completely….c’mon people. Do I think our cul de sacs are going to handout brownies laced with pot, no, but you need to be careful. It’s scary to think we need to prepare our kids for something that should NOT be so readily available. Jennifer…do you even have children?! You’re post is not only misdirected but its people like you who have turned the moral compass of this country upside down. What’s wrong and has been considered wrong, is now acceptable and right!!! I am fearful of my children’s future. Not only will they have to pay for all our generational mistakes and astronomical deficit, but have to fight against issues like pot that should be illegal. I’m am NOT a parent who shelters her kids from everything by any means either….I want them to accept differences amoung people. I just pray we have equipped them with good life skills and values.
    May God bless this misguided state and country…

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson November 8, 2012

    Interesting to read all these great comments on both sides! I can’t say I agree that we won’t notice a difference but of course, it depends how far this is taken. I still remember when I was in 9th grade I went to the Netherlands on a class trip. Pot is legal there and when we went in a cafe, it was actually on the menu underneath the types of coffee. Of course, my fellow 9th graders freaked out, excited it was so readily available and society was so open to it. I suspect this will be tied up for a very long time at the federal level.

  • comment avatar Terra November 8, 2012

    I agree, it is interesting to read all the comments! Wrong is wrong. And it is a lot easier to teach our children what a Martini looks like than it is to teach them what a brownie laced with pot looks like. I, too – don’t know how far this will go and how it will change not only Colorado but the country in the coming years.

  • comment avatar Jenny Matlock November 8, 2012

    Oh Terra.

    It’s legal here, too.

    And we can actually grow it in our gardens if there is no dispensary near us.

    Geez.

    I have watched drugs destroy some of my loved ones.

    The battles that are fought to find your way back into sobriety is nothing short of hell on earth.

    Living close to the Mexican border, I see the struggle with hard drugs coming into the country…I don’t know if the legalization would allow more funds to fight those drugs.

    The whole thing makes me ill.

    This was a wonderfully written and thought provoking post.

    Thank you for having the courage to share it.

    I linked you on my blog today, too!

  • Pingback:Legal Marijuana Is One of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Crassparenting

  • comment avatar Christa Palmer November 8, 2012

    If you do some research on marijuana, you might learn that it was classified as a dangerous drug not through testing or lab results but from mere propaganda. It is not nearly as dangerous as alcohol or cigarettes.

    I’m not going to bore you with the details of my illnesses and chronic pain, but any physician will write me a prescription for vicodin, percocet and many other highly addictive painkillers. That’s perfectly fine.

    - Marijuana is minimally addictive – way less so than alcohol.
    - It can help chemo patients with the nausea.
    - It helps chronic migraine sufferers.
    - It can help with pain management which is critically under-treated.

    When I see evidence that it is half as dangerous as alcohol, perhaps I’ll get excited. In the meantime, you can tell me I’m wrong at http://crassparenting.com/2012/11/legal-marijuana-is-one-of-the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse/.

  • comment avatar Jen November 8, 2012

    Honey, the stoners have been packing up their cars and heading to CO LONG before you landed in suburbia. It’s this irrational approach to a drug that (outside of its legality) poses no greater threat to society than alcohol that is the problem. We have ignored a legitimate economy, imprisoned otherwise innocent people, and contributed to the war on our border long enough. I see no evidence that this is a bad idea and can and will be regulated like alcohol. Our problem is that we’ve taken a relatively mild drug and lumped it in woth heroin and crack, yet alcohol is available on every street corner. Our lack of rational and critical thought on this issue is disappointing to say the least. The pot itself isn’t the problem, but the fact that it’s on the black market. I, for one, welcome the space being freed up in our prisons for real criminals and the revenue this is sure to bring.

  • comment avatar Susan November 8, 2012

    The cool kids have “scripts”. It’s already a huge problem. As a former drug user, I can attest that pot was the gateway to speed, crank & coke. I had a severe DVT in my leg that forced me to stay 1 month in ICU. I was told I would never walk again. I finally quit drugs. Moms, don’t fool yourself, this is bad!

    • comment avatar Terra November 8, 2012

      Congratulations on your recovery! You should be proud!

  • comment avatar Jill November 8, 2012

    I am the mom of three boys, two of them teens, and I have raised them in Colorado.

    This post is a bit Chicken Little-ish. The sky isn’t falling. It’s Colorado, not Amsterdam. And like Gretchen says this will be tied up by federal law for years anyway.

    This doesn’t “change Colorado”. Colorado is beautiful. Colorado is great. Colorado has come together in many instances of despair this year. I am proud to live here. And no, I’m definitely not a pot smoker although I did vote in favor of legalizing.

    Believe it or not, people are smoking pot right now. In every state. Illegally!

    Alcohol is legal, but like someone above said, we aren’t handing our kids martinis or walking down the street with a beer or handing them MJ-laced brownies. And that isn’t gonna change because it is now legal.

    If you haven’t had this conversation with your kids before November 6th, shame on you because they have access to it whether it’s legal or illegal.

    • comment avatar Christa Palmer November 8, 2012

      Alcohol is crazy-addictive. We are talking about this on crassparenting, but I have asked Amber for a counter-point.

      As for the medical vs recreational, meh. Most mild drugs are over the counter. I really think pot would fall into that.

      • comment avatar Jill November 8, 2012

        I considered that too, but writing it on my blog instead. I’ll head over and check out what you’ve got.

  • comment avatar Joe November 8, 2012

    Has anyone even considered how regulating the substance will make it cleaner and safer? I mean I don’t use. Not because I haven’t tried it but because I don’t really care for it. But lets think logically about how this is a gateway drug. Is it because magically someone wants to see if they can get more of a high by sticking themselves with needles or snorting something up their nose? Or is it because they are purchasing weed from not a weed dealer but a Drug dealer who’s main goal is to sell you as many forms of his product as he can? Oh and lacing some of his weed so you get a special high off his product and you don’t go spending your cash with someone else.

    Sorry if you are against this. I feel that the benefits outweigh the costs. I also don’t see responsible adults doing any of the brownie lacing or any of that nonsense for children. I mean how little do you think of your fellow man? Compare the regulation to alcohol/cigarettes/prescriptions or what have you. Personally I think this is a good step in the right direction for controlling a substance that really is not more, and possibly much less, harmful than legal substances today.

  • comment avatar Phil March 20, 2013

    March 20, 2013

    When I think of Colorado. I think of beautiful trees, clear mountains stream and fresh air. How fresh will the air be now? How safe will it be to drive there now. I will not be taking my family their for vacation.

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