What? You make the drug legal, even though it has been the gateway drug for harder drug use for decades, your state celebrates this newfound liberty in very public ways, and you use tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund a “statewide media campaign on marijuana use”?
Last November, a report from Seattle noted that, “More drivers have been testing positive for marijuana since Washington legalized the drug last year, according to new figures from the State Patrol.
“In the first six months of 2013, the patrol’s crime lab says, 745 people tested positive for marijuana. Typically, there are about 1,000 positive pot tests on drivers in a full year.”
And while there are different explanations for these numbers, even Kevin Sabet, of Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), said that, “It’s certainly cause for alarm. It’s very possible people are getting the message that this is OK. Obviously, impaired driving is a major public safety issue.”
Not to worry. Gov. Hickenlooper and his team have this covered too. According to his proposal, “The state Department of Transportation would get $1.9 million for a new ‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ campaign to tout the state's new marijuana blood-limit standard for drivers.”
That should do it.
In fact, I have a proposal for Mr. Hickenlooper and the people of Colorado. Why stop with marijuana? After all, both hard liquor and beer are legal, so why not follow suit with drugs?
Just think of all the funds that could be generated if cocaine and Ecstasy and heroin and a host of other drugs were legalized. The profits would be mindboggling, and with the new tax revenues, just think of all the drug prevention programs that could be funded.
Which leads me back to my question: What are they smoking in Colorado?
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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