By Rev. William Gillison Pastor, Mt. Olive Baptist Church
Now that the mid-term elections are over, and the celebrations continue, what did our community win? What economic benefit will we see, or what measurable change will take place that will benefit our community. I hope it happens, but I am afraid that once again many of us have bought into the agenda of others without demanding or asking for anything.
Part of the agenda that they now have for us throughout the State, is to now fill our communities with easy access to (drugs) marijuana. Part of the sales pitch will be, we will have more money to solve many of the ills of our communities. Many of those problems they won’t fix, while blaming someone else for our condition, even though they are the ones in power. Another part of the sales pitch will be, that they will reform and change laws that have been applied to many of those who are serving time for possession of small quantities of marijuana and other drugs.
Marijuana comes from a (can·na·bis) plant. It is a tall plant with a stiff upright stem, divided serrated leaves, and glandular hairs. It is used to produce hemp fiber and also as a psychotropic drug. A psychotropic drug is a drug that affects mental activity, behavior, or perception, as a moodaltering drug.
Related words for psychotropic are hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic, multicolored, crazy, experimental, mind-blowing, trip, freaky, consciousness-expanding, hallucinogenic, mind-bending, mind-expanding, psychoactive, psychotomimetic, and psychotropic.
A dried preparation of the flowering tops or other parts of this plant, or a gummy extract of it (cannabis resin), is used (generally illegally) as a psychotropic drug, chiefly in cigarettes, or other drug paraphernalia that can be picked up at your corner store in many of our communities.
A Newsweek article dated 6/6/15, entitled “The unexpected side effects of legalizing weed”, written by Marjorie Haun, contains a lot of information, as to why legalizing marijuana is not a good idea. The article points out a number of things that we better be mindful of in the State of New York. They bring up, that in 2014 and 2015, nearly $6 million dollars in pot revenues was distributed to local governments, but that the increased cost in law enforcement, caused by drugged-driving, fatal crashes, loss of productivity and a huge spike in gang-related crime, bring into question the cost-benefit of those dollars.
They also bring up that teen drug-related school expulsions are on the rise. The increased use of the drug has also caused problems in middle schools and high schools. And what is referred to as “edibles” have increased the use of the emergency room, because of consumption by children and pets resulting in illness and death and regulatory confusion surrounding public consumption and enforcement.
They warn in their article that “The eyes of other states eager to legalize pot should be firmly fixed on the unfolding saga in towns such as Denver, Boulder and De Beque, Colorado.
Do we really want our communities flooded with drugs? But what do you do when the Government Becomes the Drug Pusher?
At present I do not want to believe that our Senators and Assembly persons want this kind of future for our communities. But I also know when those of us who voted them into office to represent us, don’t say anything about issues that affect us, it is accepted as consent. So make your calls, write letters, sign petitions, whatever you can do to make your voices heard.
The legalization of marijuana is presently working its way through the political process. Our State Governor has already indicated that whenever this gets to his desk, he will sign it, based upon the State Health Department Report.
I must admit I have not read the report, but I can’t think of any reason they would be in support of this. Those who need medical marijuana can do so through their doctor. Your question, our question to our elected officials is simple, do you support the legalization of marijuana?
The answer should not be a long political one, its either yes or no. If this is the kind of future we want for the next generation of children, all we have to do, is nothing.