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I will not partake


So I’m working in Colorado, where I used to live. It’s changed a bit. It’s more built-up, and the urban areas are more liberal. Luckily I left before things got so bad that the voters actually legalized marijuana. Colorado residents 21 and older can purchase and possess marijuana legally, up to an ounce. Non-residents of Colorado can buy up to 0.25 ounces.

The Netherlands decriminalized marijuana in 1976, allowing each person to possess and use up to 0.18 ounces, which was normally sold through “coffeeshops” (a.k.a. “cannabis cafes”). Unfortunately this created “pot tourism,” where hundreds of thousands of foreigners would visit the Netherlands each year, specifically to get stoned. The associated crime and public disturbances caused by marijuana users in the Netherlands eventually caused the Dutch legislature to reverse its 35-year experiment with marijuana, and the sale of marijuana to non-Dutch citizens was banned in 2012 in southern Holland. The ban extended to all of Holland as of 2013, but after much legal wrangling (especially from Amsterdam “coffeeshops” which need pot tourism to survive), the current Dutch government is leaving it up to individual cities as to how they enforce the law.

As it stands now, only Dutch citizens who register with the government for a “weed pass” are allowed to buy marijuana. “Coffeeshops” are restricted to keeping less than half a kilo on the premises, and can be shut down by the authorities if their customers prove to be a nuisance to the surrounding community.

Apparently Colorado didn’t learn much from the Dutch experiment or the problems it caused. I expect they will.

There are 136 licenses so far for marijuana shops (“dispensaries”), three-quarters of which are in Denver county. They deal in cash only, since banks do not want customers who engage in activities which are still illegal under federal law. This makes the dispensaries targets for robbery by the Mexican drug cartels, who are unhappy about losing a drug market valued at $1.4 billion.

I don’t use any consciousness-altering drugs of any kind. I think it’s dangerous, both for myself and for people around me. Every day I witness drug users’ socially-inappropriate behavior, and sometimes I witness their criminal activity. If their organs weren’t already being damaged by their drug use, I think it would be better if drug users were rounded up, executed and had their organs harvested to benefit transplant recipients. And what little property the drug users have would be confiscated and sold to benefit the victims of drug users’ criminality.

But all that would happen in other states besides Colorado. Because the majority of voters in Colorado apparently like drug users, and they want more of them.

I’m glad I left Colorado before things got so bad. Now I will just have to do my best to ignore Colorado’s decline while I’m working here.

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