EDITORIAL: Gettin’ high in the Mile High City

Who wants to go to Colorado? According to Travelocity.com, a plane ticket from Cleveland costs about $500.

People may be flocking to the Southwest after new legislation passed in Denver gave “new meaning to Mile High City,” according to a headline in the Rocky Mountain News.

The law, which passed by only a few percent, states adults over 21 are allowed to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

But stop packing up your peace pipes and bongs, folks. It’s not an open and shut case.

The residents apparently thought they could bypass the state laws banning marijuana by passing a city law. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. People have been arrested in Denver streets thinking they can freely smoke joints on the streets.

While cities may pass laws that are stricter than state laws, they may not pass laws that are looser. Police cannot arrest someone for possession because of city laws, but they may still do so to enforce the laws of Colorado.

Regardless, this vote shows the country is changing. People no longer feel soft drugs such as marijuana deserve the same taboo sentiments as LSD, cocaine and crystal meth. This editorial board believes this is the first of many similar laws that will be passed around the country, which allow Americans to legally possess and use marijuana for recreational as well as medical reasons. We do not see marijuana use as a problem in this country.

In a letter to the editor of the Denver Post, one reader wrote, “According to Mason Tvert, head of Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, marijuana is not as bad as alcohol, so it should be legal. Ha! That’s brilliant. Why not legalize petty larceny because it’s not as bad as grand larceny? Is a stoned driver safer than a drunk one?”

The answer to her question: maybe not. But this editorial board doesn’t condone drunk driving, either.

As with alcohol, it is up to the person using a substance to limit him or herself. Just because some people have no self-control and are substance abusers does not mean everyone who takes a puff of marijuana will become out of control, too.

People are going to use marijuana whether it’s legal or not. If the government sanctions and regulates its use, it will not only assure the substances people are using are safe, but it could also benefit from the vast amount of revenue earned through the drug’s sale. It worked for cigarettes. Why not pot?

Until more subscribe to this belief, Americans will see changes in this country, city by city.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.