Editorials

I was gonna care a lot, but then I got high

Illinois is looking at decriminalizing marijuana, but how long until it is legalized? Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of NORML, invites the crowd to light up on May 7 during a legalization rally in Texas.
Illinois is looking at decriminalizing marijuana, but how long until it is legalized? Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of NORML, invites the crowd to light up on May 7 during a legalization rally in Texas. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Cheech: “Hey, man. Am I drivin’ OK?”

Chong: “I think we’re parked, man.”

Cheech: “What was in that (stuff). I never had no dope like that before in my life, man.”

Oh, those simpler times. It was 1978 and the days of pre-hyrdroponic, engineered marijuana. It took a quarter-pound joint of Labrador-enhanced pot to wreck two lifetime stoners.

Good news: It takes a lot less today. Potent pot awaits.

The current move to decriminalize it will make that $200 fine for possession a lot cheaper than going through the process to get medical marijuana if you happen to have the right ailment. Of course, that assumes you aren’t super unlucky and get caught a lot.

Once medical marijuana got its nose under the tent, the next step was decriminalization. Here we are, full camel.

Soon we’ll hear don’t criticize it, legalize it. Collect those pot taxes in our nearly bankrupt state just like other sin taxes on gambling and smoking. (Hmmm. Nevada gets sin taxes from prostitution, right?)

Why should Colorado get all the pot sales? Maybe we could draw some big box dispensaries with tax increment financing dollars?

Yes, there are people already driving high, and have been since well before comedy teams were making records and movies about it. Yes, we are already on the marijuana spectrum and assume it will just get greener.

But the more you condone, the farther some will push. Decriminalization can only expand the market, thus competition among criminal gangs.

Those business disputes are resolved with young men’s bodies dumped in weed-covered lots and little kids becoming collateral damage.

But then if you get high enough, who cares?

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