Marolt: Taking a pot shot at logic | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: Taking a pot shot at logic

Roger Marolt
Roger This

The owner of the local pot shop wants our kids to smoke dope. This is true. If he tells you otherwise, he is a liar. His intention is diametrically opposed to my hope for my children. Smoking grass is not healthy, it is addictive. My kids will be better off if they never go near the stuff.

OK, so he's not going to sell a joint or an infused gummy bear to my kids tomorrow or even the next day or the day after that — hopefully. But, when they turn 21, they will be enthusiastically welcomed into his establishment and he will sell them as much pot as he possibly can and invite them back for more when that's gone. They will be adults and making decisions on their own then, so, of course, this means I should no longer care. At least that's what he'll say.

He's already enticing them with groovy advertisements in the local newspapers. Oh yes, I'm sure those ads aren't intended for kids; how can he keep them from looking at them? And, yes, I know it's my responsibility to help them navigate this and impart my values and wisdom on them. But, how many times will my kids see those ads during the crucial years of physical and emotional maturation and brain development? Thanks for the help and your concern, pot shop keeper. I know; you're just trying to make an honest living.

Yes, I'm old-fashioned, but that doesn't mean I am wrong about pot being a bad thing for the human race. I know a lot of people who smoke or did when they were younger, and I don't believe for a second that a single one of them is a better person for it. If that's generally true with all people and not just the ones I know, that leaves three outcomes of lighting up: Either you remain basically intact minus a few brain cells, your life begins a slow spiral in the wrong direction, or you get addicted, can't hold a job or maintain a relationship and spend the rest of your life trying to get the monkey off your back…and good luck with that King Kong-sized task being able to only tap about 92 percent of your natural IQ.

I took my daughter to a Broncos game on Sunday. I began going to those games with my dad when I was about her age; longer ago than I care to do the ciphering on. Walking out with the happy hometown crowd after a victory, almost immediately outside the gates, the smell of weed permeated the air with more pungency than at most 1980s arena-rock concerts I've been to. I don't ever remember that after a game at Mile High; it was our first trip to the stadium this season.

I would have chalked it up to a few overzealous inconsiderate jerks who couldn't get high enough off watching the Broncos continue their march, hopefully, to the Super Bowl, but it wasn't. The cloud engulfed us the entire walk back to Lodo. People were lighting up all over the place. Things have changed. Although still illegal to smoke in public, people were lighting up everywhere, and why not? Who was going to do anything about it? This is the new reality of Colorado crowd mentality.

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It's a maddening change and most of the logic for it is equally so because I think we misread consequences and got worked up over the irrelevant. When we were asked to contemplate the legalization of pot, we weighed things such as the tax revenues that could be raised to help educate our kids versus the potentially detrimental introduction of another legal substance our kids might abuse and, in turn, get abused by. But, one of the strong arguments we bought coming to our conclusion was that of the great failure of the 1920's Prohibition experiment.

We looked back at that absurdity and weighed the evidence against that miserable failure to save us from the evils of alcohol. Someone convinced us that the same thing was going to happen with pot. We were on the verge of repeating the error. We had learned nothing from history.

But, the prohibition of alcohol was different than the prohibition of pot. Few of us can explain why, but we knew it. We stopped the illegitimacy of booze after 13 years of a mess. We had lived easily with the illegality of grass for more than a century. I wish we would have trusted our experience instead of our logic.

Roger Marolt believes that substance abuse and addiction are tragic epidemics and doesn't see how the legalization of another substance can possibly be the right step toward fixing them. Email at Roger@maroltllp.com.

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