Why “Thinking of the Children” is a Terrible Argument against Marijuana

By April 26, 2016Thomas Law Firm

“What about the children?”

It’s an argument used for all kinds of things. Think of the children, how will this affect them? Marijuana legalization is no different. When Colorado legalized marijuana, there was understandably some outrage – after all, wouldn’t legalizing pot make it that much easier for children to get their hands on it?

“Drug Dealers Don’t Check ID”

It is pretty much impossible to 100 percent prevent minors from getting access to restricted products like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but it’s the truth. However, arguments that legalization increases teen access to marijuana just don’t hold water. In fact, it’s actually the other way around.

When weed is illegal, the black market flourishes. Profits are strong. And drug dealers don’t need to check IDs – why would they? The whole process is already illegal, who cares whether your customer is 40 or 14, as long as they’ve got the green (cash, we mean)?

Compare this type of market to alcohol. Have you ever heard of an alcohol dealer? We had a funny word for them back in the day – bootleggers. But bootleggers aren’t really a problem anymore, now that Prohibition is long dead. Why? There’s no money in it. It’s legal and easily accessed, so it’s a lot less likely you’ll find a teenage whiskey dealer selling shots out of his parent’s minivan.

Take a look at the data. Since the seventies, the government has been surveying high school seniors to see how easy it would be for them to obtain marijuana. An astonishing 80 to 91 percent of students, depending on the year, said it would be easy. The prohibitionist argument says that, upon legalization, that number would go up – but it hasn’t. Actually, it has gone down slightly in our three years with legal weed. Not much lower, mind you – but that means, at least, teen access to marijuana has not gone up.

Furthermore, when weed is illegal, you have no idea what is in it. The growers might have laced it with something to increase its potency. You don’t know what went into it, what pesticides might have been used. You might not even know if it’s really weed (hey, some people can’t tell the difference between real marijuana and dangerous synthetic drugs like K2). With a legal market, the product is regulated – you know what you’re getting. If kids are going to smoke, better to smoke weed that isn’t possibly laced with cocaine.

Our attorneys handle defense of marijuana-related cases such as DUI-D.

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