We understand why there are concerns about legalizing marijuana, but the fears are misplaced. There is a lot of misinformation. People with a political agenda have been lying about cannabis for quite some time. Studies have shown cannabis is safer than alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana use has never been linked to cancer, and it is physically impossible to overdose.
The “gateway drug” myth is persuasive, but untrue. Most hard drug users’ first drug was alcohol or tobacco. While it is generally true that users of dangerous narcotics such as heroin and meth have used marijuana in the past, few who have tried marijuana go on to use hard drugs. The only gateway effects are because people who buy marijuana must go to criminals to purchase it and because Drug Abuse Resistance Education has been teaching kids that pot is just as bad as heroin. When teens learn that they have been lied to about one drug, why would they trust us when it comes to the dangers of addictive and deadly drugs like meth or heroin?
Allowing adults, many of them productive and otherwise upstanding members of the community, to legally buy and use cannabis in the privacy of their own homes makes it harder for teens to get it. Drug dealers don’t card, and they often sell and push other drugs on their customers. State-licensed legal vendors of marijuana aren’t going to have anything that isn’t legal and pure.
We need to stop lying to our kids and punishing adults who aren’t harming anyone and bring more jobs to Alaska. Let’s do all three by keeping cannabis legal for responsible adults.