Diana Simon: Area not much changed
This letter is in response to your poll asking for our opinion on the overall effect of legalized pot on the Steamboat community.
I think in an alternate statement that legalization has not made much difference in the use of marijuana. I suspect that just as many users existed before as do afterward. Though, the smell of marijuana is in the air more often.
Truly, more sellers are making legal money and paying taxes than before the law change.
I can’t speak for the community but can express my viewpoint. Twenty-five or 30 years ago, I would have been elated with the legalization of pot. Since that time, my experience and study affect my thoughts.
According to “The Hidden Addiction” by Phelps, M.D., and Nourse, M.D., (copyright 1986), “addiction is the direct result of a biochemical error, as yet unidentified, that is passed down genetically from generation to generation.”
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These doctors thought that “this biochemical flaw…a deep-seated and pervasive disturbance in carbohydrate metabolism” causes persons having this flaw to be vulnerable to addiction of many different substances. Sugar is considered the first basic addiction.
I haven’t scientifically studied the topic of addiction recently, and the book quoted was written many years ago. However, I have had experience talking with people who are addicts and those who are not; a difference exists.
I think that marijuana should be legalized as is alcohol. Either substance causes “a craving for more” within a biologically-sensitive person.
I think that with the legalization of marijuana the most important task is encouraging openness across generational boundaries. In other words, parents talking with children about the realities, pros and cons, of using marijuana — that becoming addicted to or dependent on marijuana is possible, depending on the biochemistry of each individual — that depending on any mind-altering substance can interfere with the direct perception of reality.
Diana Simon, R.N., M.S.
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