■ By Rusty Strait / Senior Reporter
I recently covered a speaking event about the legalization of cannabis at a local retirement community on the western edge of Hemet where the residents are in their 50s or older. We seem to forget that anyone in their 60s to 80s today was a product of the sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll era – however distant that may seem. So one shouldn’t be surprised to see senior citizens slipping into one of the many local (and currently illegal) pot shops for their weekly supply of “medical marijuana.”
The pro and con positions at the event were split down the middle, which seemed to surprise many of the residents, some of whom did not realize they even lived within Hemet’s city limits, believe it or not.
One youngster somewhere in his middle “earlies” decried the ignorance about ingesting marijuana in its various forms by his fellow residents. Get over it folks. Legal pot sales are taxable and Hemet is starving for tax money. Better to come by it from pot users than by taxing every property owner in town. According to a recent article in Forbes, BDS Analytics/Arcview Market Research predicts that sales of recreational use marijuana in California will reach $577 million next year. For all of 2017, sales of legal medical marijuana in California are expected to approach $2.7 billion, according to the research group.
The passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016 allows California households to grow up to six plants indoors. As of Jan. 1, 2018, California retailers are allowed to sell recreational marijuana. Whoopee! Will that be the end of the argument? Not on your life.
Those who are old enough to remember prohibition and the end of it know that bootleg joints and after-hours watering holes did a landslide business. So if the legal price is jacked up to the roof, backdoor pot dispensaries will pop up all over town because they will undersell the legitimate shops.
Have you ever noticed how so many do-gooders are against the legalization of marijuana because they want to “protect the children from drugs.” That’s a straw horse if I ever saw one. There is not a kid in middle school or older who can’t find a connection on any corner or school campus. The only folks they’re depriving are the adults. Medical authorities know that most young people who become hooked on any kind of drug get their start in the family medicine cabinet. So let’s stop making excuses and admit that we, the adults, are the first source of our kids getting their first high on opiates.
I love it when I hear some parent say, “My kids never did anything like that.” Really? Think back to when you were a teenager. How many forbidden things did you partake in that your parents never knew about? Parents who thought you were perfect. Those recollections may make your hair, if you have any left, stand on end.
Pot is a money maker and it ain’t goin’ away folks. Your elected officials will see to that. Get used to it.