About the Colony

I endorsed legalizing pot, but not because I like it

Lon Allan
Lon Allan jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

When I was a youngster, I remember my dad proclaiming quite often that “The world’s going to pot!” It usually was uttered when some public action irked him. Maybe it was when he heard me play Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” on my phonograph.

So, Dad, it appears that at least much of the United States is going to pot, meaning making it legal to smoke marijuana. Yesterday California became another of those states in which it is OK to smoke what is called colloquially “weed.”

I’m unsure how I feel about this.

I’m not sure making pot smoking legal is a good thing, in spite of the fact I have written in favor of the legalization of marijuana a number of times over the past 30 years.

Friends who know me were surprised at my endorsement.

I’ve never smoked pot. I’ve never been around anyone who was smoking it as far as I know. About 30 years ago I was at a dinner party where, after eating, a man at the table said he wanted to smoke a “joint” and asked if anyone minded. I said I did and that if he smoked it I would be compelled to call the cops.

He put the weed back in his pocket.

I was never invited back.

I remain against the legalization of pot, just as I’m against the selling of beer, wine and distilled booze. I’ve always argued that smoking pot wouldn’t pose any more of a danger to society than alcohol. We might as well legalize it and tax it. The state can always use more revenue. I hope it (the state) spends the newfound income on something more important than those fake red brick adornments that are being constructed at every off-ramp up and down the state.

I also felt the police had more important things to do than bust people for smoking marijuana.

I’m glad it’s being regulated as much as it is. I know the same penalties will go with driving while under the influence of the drug.

There is the argument that marijuana is a “gateway” drug, that it will lead to the abuse of stronger and more addictive drugs.

I hope that isn’t the case.

I hope I haven’t inadvertently endorsed something that will be detrimental to society any more than what’s already out there.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for five decades and his column appears here every other week. Reach Allan at 805-466-8529 or lonallan39@gmail.com.