While certain criminals in our community push the legalization of pot, children are getting caught up in addictions and the problems associated with recreational drug use.
Drug prevention experts are starting to see a disturbing trend in the state. Marijuana has become the number one substance children under 18 are being treated for in South Dakota, more than alcohol and meth.
In 2008, more than 1,500 children were treated for marijuana use in South Dakota; that’s one hundred more than were treated for alcohol abuse. Experts say increased efforts to keep kids away from alcohol and meth may have allowed marijuana to slip through the cracks.
I have a friend who has struggled mightily for a long time to break his addiction to marijuana. He sees the harm it brings to himself and his relationships, as well as the risks to which he exposes himself and his family, but habits are hard to break.
It’s tough enough for him to fight it with the substance being totally illegal. If it were made legal–and thus more easily obtainable without risk–that would make his fight to be free of this intoxicant much more difficult.
Meanwhile, we have a number of people in our state who insist it should be legalized…or at least legalized for so-called “medical” use (which would muddy the waters and make enforcement for recreational use much more difficult as it has in California.
Our state and our communities will not be a better place with more intoxicated people…and more intoxicated children.