A sheriff's deputy thumbs through bagged quantities of marijuana at the scene of a drug bust in Canyon Country Wednesday. Austin Dave/The Signal
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I’ve written about this before and I will probably continue to address this subject until our city government decides what to do with the marijuana issue. I appreciate Mayor Smyth’s “research” committee and I do hope members do their homework to find the facts they need to make a positive decision.

I hope they consider what former Rep. Patrick Kennedy is doing with his newly formed “SAM” (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) organization in letting the public make smarter choices about this subject.

One of the great things he’s said in a recent article is: “What I worry about is marijuana sapping the motivation and cognition of our young people” (Article by Sarah B. Boxer, “Weed and the American Family”).

This is what I have been trying to say, and he’s said it. Our future is at stake. Our future leaders of our community, our state and our nation.

As much as people are saying pot is OK and they have rights to use it, they are also saying they don’t care about what it does to them or their children’s future.

It’s hard to change an “attitude” about anything, but this is what Mayor Smyth’s committee should look at, as well. Just because something is “trending” in society does not mean we need to embrace it as true or right for our city.

If we are to continue to want our city to be “family friendly,” how are pot stores going to help that? If it’s all about the money, then where does our attitude lie?

If we allow these stores in our city, I think we are allowing the “Trojan Horse” of more trouble to come.

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  • Brian Baker

    I’m with you on this 100%, Casey.

    Further, whether or not this state legalized marijuana, it remains a violation of federal criminal law.

  • Bill Reynolds

    Ask any local law enforcement officer & you’ll learn that marijuana (and drug) use is the scourge of our community.

  • Gary Bierend

    While I don’t want pot shops in my town, I disagree that it’s as big a problem as Casey describes. I would point out that prescription drug abuse is a much bigger problem facing the “future leaders of our community, our state and our nation”.

    From Foundation for a Drug-Free World:


    Prescription Drugs: 45%
    Street Drugs Combined: 39%
    + Heroin
    + Methamphetamine
    + Cocaine)

    Depressants, opioids and antidepressants are responsible for more overdose deaths (45%) than cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and amphetamines (39%) combined.

    In the United States, the most deaths used to take place in inner cities in African-American neighborhoods, but they have now been overtaken by white rural communities.

    Pot doesn’t even make the list.

    (Sorry if this becomes a double post, for some reason The SIgnal won’t post links for me)

    • Jim de Bree

      I guess there are multiple Trojan horses.

    • Bill Reynolds

      Law enforcement officers will tell you pot is a gateway drug and it leads to crime. Who doesn’t know that many young people hooked on pot and other illegal drugs are burglarizing our homes and stealing mail in SCV’s neighborhoods?

      • Gary Bierend

        You’re right, it is a gateway drug, but according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, so is alcohol and nicotine:

        “These findings are consistent with the idea of marijuana as a “gateway drug.” However, the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances. Also, cross-sensitization is not unique to marijuana. Alcohol and nicotine also prime the brain for a heightened response to other drugs and are, like marijuana, also typically used before a person progresses to other, more harmful substances.”

        Again, I don’t want pot shops in my town, but if someone is inclined to find an alternate reality, they are going to do it whether they start with pot or not.

  • Ron Bischof

    I oppose retail marijuana establishments in our city.