For the Children

Something is wrong when both proponents and opponents stake their positions in the marijuana debate “for the sake of the children”.  It does not take bloodhound, however, to smell the rat.  Marijuana advocates still peddle the same flimsy logic hoping to escape public scrutiny with populist platitudes.

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During the Thursday hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Labor committee both sides argued that it was in the best interests of the children (namely teenagers) to either decriminalize, or not decriminalize, marijuana. Naturally, the testimony of marijuana supporters argue that the bills being considered should decriminalize marijuana for BOTH adults and minors. Additionally, they supported decriminalization bills that would prevent schools from reporting incidents where students were caught possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.

Supporters tried to argue that the current law criminalizes teenagers for the bad choices that they are predisposed to make. They go further to add that simple tasks (like applying for a job or applying for college) could be difficult or impossible, purely based on a bad decision they made as a teenager.  Currently, marijuana possession is a criminal offense.

What they fail to note is that offenses on their juvenile record, stay on their juvenile record, and should not haunt them as adults.. Instances where criminal possession of marijuana will go on an adult record (“tried as an adult”) only happen when there are primary offenses that are much more heinous (armed robbery, murder, rape) than simple possession.

Arguments based on flawed conclusions are not new to marijuana advocates.  The very same groups (such as the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii [1] ) used to argue that “marijuana should be legalized because law enforcement has failed”. If that rationale is true, then it should apply to other criminal offenses. Replace ‘marijuana’ with ‘crystal meth’ (which law enforcement has arguably failed to wipe clean) and the assertions become much less palatable. But changing the statement to “rape should be legalized because law enforcement has failed” demonstrates how ridiculous their rationale is.

Now they want us to believe that decriminalizing marijuana possession for minors will make them safer.  Soon they will want us to believe the “earth is flat”.  Assurances by Will Espero (that the bills were never intended to apply to minors) are empty.  If senators were true to their word –

  • minors would have explicitly been excluded from the bill, making possession of marijuana by minors a criminal offense,
  • there would be stronger and stiffer penalties for repeat violations,
  • there would be mandatory treatment options for first-time and repeat offenders,
  • and reporting requirements for schools (for possession of less than one ounce of marijuana) would be untouched – minors, in particular, should not be in possession of any drug paraphernalia.

With such outlandish and idiotic assertions being made, what are the true intentions of advocates? Who benefits from a generation of teenage marijuana addicts?

The easy answer is marijuana users. Since the dawn of time, criminals have wanted their activities legalized. The more common marijuana use is, the easier it will be for them to legalize marijuana and other drugs in the future. This is the process of “normalization” — making a practice seem “normal” and therefore accepted. (This same practice was used by same-sex marriage advocates to railroad SB1 through the special legislative session). There will be more addicted marijuana users to testify at public hearings. They will have lots of time to do so since they probably will not hold full-time jobs or have much meaningful income.

The more sinister answer is “big tobacco”. The business plans of companies like RJ Reynolds and other cigarette manufacturers rely on individuals being chemically dependent on their products. The younger the addict is, the more money they make across the addict’s lifespan.  This holds true for cigarettes, and holds true for companies that would profit off of marijuana.  These “big tobacco” companies are the same ones that insisted for decades that their products were “safe”. They continue to make products (e.g. flavored cigarettes) and continue to advertise to young audiences, hoping to make another dollar off of someone’s chemical dependence.

So where does the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii get all their money to aggressively lobby the Legislature. And for that matter, do the same politicians peddling this snake oil to the public have a conflict of interest created by campaign donations they have received from tobacco companies?


[1] Do not let this name fool you.  The Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii is a local group in name only, and is a local front for mainland money from the Drug Policy Alliance.  Additionally, both groups are not about drug policy, but repealing all policies on drugs.

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