Yes, We Smoked, but Legalization Is a Bad Idea

Brooks, Marcus think Colorado, Washington have the wrong idea
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2014 1:45 PM CST
Yes, We Smoked, but Legalization Is a Bad Idea
A grower holds a marijuana plant.   (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico, File)

Two veteran columnists weigh in on the legalization of pot in Colorado and in Washington state, and neither is happy about it:

  • David Brooks: He smoked for a while as a teen. "It was fun," he writes in the New York Times. "I have some fond memories of us all being silly together. I think those moments of uninhibited frolic deepened our friendships." But he and his friends "aged out," moved on, and gave up pot after some "embarrassing incidents," generally deciding it wasn't how they wanted to live their lives. And now he's worried these laws send the wrong message. "In legalizing weed, citizens of Colorado are, indeed, enhancing individual freedom. But they are also nurturing a moral ecology in which it is a bit harder to be the sort of person most of us want to be."

  • Ruth Marcus: She, too, did her "share of inhaling," but, she, too, is worried about legalization. In particular, she cites an AMA study asserting that teens who indulge might end up with lower IQs and moodier countenances. "On balance, society will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance," she writes in the Washington Post. "In particular, our kids will not be better off with another legal mind-altering substance."
  • Counterpoint: At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan reads them both and sums up: "What these two affluent Caucasians are trying to communicate is: I do not care how many young minorities must have their lives ruined by being arrested for weed. I demand we keep in place a law that I acknowledge is purely for show and that I know will be widely ignored, in order to assuage my conscience about the upbringing of white teenagers."
(More marijuana stories.)

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