I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other about whether individuals should smoke marijuana. However, I have deep concerns about where marijuana smokers should be permitted to use their drug of choice. Laws exist that regulate alcohol consumption, and most municipalities also have laws that regulate the sale and use of cigarettes. Those laws are designed to protect the public. Similar laws are needed to protect the general public from marijuana smoke.
Restricting where and who can use marijuana will go a long way towards protecting the public. Otherwise, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will adversely impact the quality of life and the health of many people. Those most likely to be adversely affected are: the poor, children, the elderly, and people who suffer from respiratory problems. The economically disadvantaged and many people living in senior citizen’s buildings live in poorly ventilated houses/apartments. Fumes and odors easily spread from one dwelling to another. Therefore it is not fair that people who choose not to smoke marijuana and choose not to expose their children to marijuana should be subjected (especially in the privacy of their own homes) to second-hand marijuana smoke just because of where they live and because of their economic status.
Following are some questions that elected officials should ponder and answer before they vote to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
- Will it be legal to smoke marijuana in open spaces such as in parks, playgrounds, at bus stops, and on sidewalks?
- Will smoking marijuana be legal in public places such as nightclubs, stadiums, and government buildings?
- Will adults be permitted to smoke marijuana in the presence of children?
- At what age will it be legal to engage in the recreational use of marijuana?
- Will the recreational use of marijuana be regulated? If so how?
- Will apartment dwellers be permitted to smoke marijuana in their apartments, even if the fumes travel to and through other apartments?
Legalizing marijuana, in my opinion, is not a moral issue’ it is a public health and welfare concern.
February 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm
Very well put…indeed! Having been a marijuana smoker…I certainly did not consider those bullets that you point out. But today some 30 yrs later (and in the public health arena) your points should be of the utmost consideration! Politicians I pray you do the right thing!!
February 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm
Let’s hope those in power think about how the laws they make will impact the quality of life for many people. .
February 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm
You pose some very provocative issues regarding this — I agree about the effects of secondhand smoke.
February 16, 2014 at 9:47 pm
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my post.
February 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm
Very insightful! You have a great way of expressing your opinion. More people need to read this.
February 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm
I’ve been trying to post something but nothing i post shows up and its very frustrating because i love reading your blog and wish more child be exposed to your writings.
February 18, 2014 at 1:13 am
Thank you Richard. I am so glad you enjoy reading my posts. I’m happy that you find the posts meaningful. I don’t know what happened before; but I’m happy your comments are finally showing up.
February 26, 2014 at 10:07 pm
I agree with many of your concerns, but find them as more of a smoking ANYTHING issue than a marijuana issue. There are other ways of using/consuming it that I don’t believe pose these problems. But I do agree that public areas, apartment homes and offices should really do their best to eliminate these kinds of intrusions on the liberties of others.
The reason that smoking got banned in so many places (in Michigan you can’t do it in most buildings) is because it could be medically/scientifically proven that second hand inhalation was a contributing factor to many illnesses in non-smokers. Hopefully these bans will reflect some kind of precedent for marijuana, even though it is unknown if there are any liabilities for second hand smoke from it. Either way, I think most sensible people can agree that the smell is terrible and we should all have olfactory privacy from it if we don’t want to be around it!
February 27, 2014 at 1:34 am
Thank you Ashley for taking time to read and respond to my post. Your response is interesting and thought provoking. It caused me to revise the title of my post to more accurately state that I am opposed to legalizing the smoking of marijuana and not to its use in general.
As indicated by the content of my original post, I am deeply concerned about the impact that legalizing the smoking of marijuana will have upon those groups mentioned (add recovering addicts to my list of potential victims) . Frankly, at the time that I wrote the post it did not occur to me that the states that have legalized marijuana may have banned the smoking of the drug, but permit its consumption in other ways. It is the impact that smoking the drug has on nonsmokers that bothers me.
Once again, thanks for your very thoughtful response.
March 10, 2014 at 11:19 pm
The main problem with legalizing weed is that if there will have to be so many rules that will have to be created and strictly reinforced by the law making sure that all smokers will obey them. Even then everyone won’t follow the laws.
March 11, 2014 at 2:23 am
So I take it that you are opposed to legalizing the smoking of marijuana. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.