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Kids These Days:

Legalized pot or bust

April 05, 2010|By Steve Smith

I wrote a month ago about the mixed message being sent to Costa Mesa residents through the enforcement of the city’s medical marijuana dispensary ordinance versus the mandate in Proposition 215, which California voters passed in 1996 (“Adult consistency has gone to pot,” March 9).

I also discussed the widespread use of marijuana nationally and in our school district.

This November, California voters have an opportunity to formally legalize weed by voting in favor of a new initiative that would allow adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce for personal use.

My column a month ago prompted an anonymous response posted on the Daily Pilot’s website by someone claiming to be a police officer.

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“As a patrol officer over a decade in Santa Ana, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that marijuana is not a enforcement priority in O.C. agencies,” this person wrote. “It only becomes a priority when squawking babbling citizens complain to the City Council which then sends an e-mail to the city manager. It’s a waste of time and resources during cutbacks and layoffs. Alcohol is far worse. Over 70% of calls for service are related to alcohol. Not once have I ever encountered a person violent under the influence of marijuana. Legalize/tax it.”

It doesn’t matter to me whether this person is actually a patrol officer in Santa Ana or anywhere else, because the points are valid.

Parents and other guardians of our children often want to focus on educating kids about the dangers of “drugs,” a catch-all term that could include heroin and marijuana.

But as the commentator indicated, there is a far more serious problem with alcohol, which is found in most homes and although it is extremely destructive, is rarely found under lock and key.

Our own home is a good example. I like my cocktail or glass of wine in the evening, and over the years I have been careful to make sure that our two children never see alcohol abused. But this dangerous drug is in a cabinet in a common area of our home, with free and easy access to anyone.

The alcohol is not locked up because our kids know that until they are 21, they are not allowed to drink it. So far, they have not touched the stuff.

But there is another reason. By their actions in other parts of their lives, our kids have earned our trust and so the alcohol remains in a simple cabinet.

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