I am a former marijuana user who is dead set against legalization of it in any form.  I experienced back in the 1970’s how it affected my life and led to stronger drug and alcohol abuse, and I know that all the other back doors to legalization are exactly that:  back doors.  My daughter, husband, and I have left Colorado due to what legalization did not only to our neighborhood (dirty needles, homeless camping in our back yards at night, drugs hidden in window wells, increase in auto and other theft), but to our family, as well.  

To begin with, our daughter, who is in her 20’s and finally living a productive and well-adjusted life in Texas, got sucked into marijuana use in Colorado and ended up in the emergency room twice.  Both times, ER doctors thought other drugs were involved, but the tests were conclusive that it was only marijuana. The number of marijuana induced psychotic breaks in Colorado is staggering, if you can find the real statistics. I can tell you personally.

My son was harmed too

We have a 19-year-old son as well.  Sometime a between 7th and 8th grades, we noticed a change; our voracious reader had stopped reading.  His room was suddenly always a mess, he was never where he was supposed to be, his grades dropped drastically and work was being plagiarized or not turned in.  We cleaned his room and found homemade marijuana paraphernalia, talked to him, and thought it was over.  No such luck.  It continued on, with him even starting to burn himself and tattoo himself at home.  

By high school, our bright, funny, intelligent child was a totally different person.  Not only was he smoking pot in our house, but sneaking out, stealing cars, and stealing from us.  In just a few years, he had given up all he was interested in such as art, track, basketball, his dogs, and reading, to get high and drunk, now moving onto Xanax, LSD, mushrooms, cocaine and other drugs.  He invited criminals and drug users/sellers to our home, where they stole from us. Sadly for them, we were not the cool parents ‘everyone else’ had, who bought pot and even smoked it with their kids and kids’ friends. At one point, our son and his friends were caught at a dance with $1,800 worth of legal pot they took from a parent.  When we legalize something, we say it is ok for everyone to do it, now that the government has put their stamp of approval on it.  Now moms and dads have it.  It’s not hard to see how this happened, considering how teenagers think.

I met many, many, high school kids through our son, and very few of them have gone on to college or a career.  

To make a long story short – if you still think it’s ok to legalize

To make a long story short–our son went to a large party, got high, and completely came apart at the seams became violent and got beat up.  Then a friend drove him in his car, wrecked it out in the country in Weld County, and left my son, injured and unconscious, to die 60 feet off the road in a ditch in a field.  Ten hours later, my son came to and made his way to a farmhouse, out of his mind.  He was put in an induced coma, and suffered 14 face plates, 3 surgeries, one traumatic brain injury, plus double lung injuries.

Six months later, he has left rehab to return to Colorado, where he can smoke pot again. He still needs over $8,000 worth of medical care, but returning to Colorado was more important. Many in our area alone have died from drug overdoses that began with medical care (medical marijuana is just a different drug doing the same thing as the other pain killers) or from partying with pot in Colorado (the state now wants to decriminalize mushrooms).   If it appears that I am a mom exaggerating the truth to prove a point, just last week my son called, and we were talking about how he had become ‘the guy he had always hated’.  He told us about the last year and a half of cocaine, acid, Xanax, and mushroom use, and when I asked him how this all started, he answered without even hesitating, “With weed.”

And, although I understand that my son makes his own choices and is rebellious (he is actually not rebellious against the state, as he embraces what they say is an acceptable way of life), if pot hadn’t been legalized and given the ‘thumbs up’ by the government, we would not have been in the situation we found ourselves in. 

Colorado is absolutely responsible for what is happening to my daughter’s and son’s generation.  If you vote to legalize, you are responsible as well. I say this as a former pothead, myself. I know firsthand what the weak stuff from the 70’s did to ambition and to further drug use, and what is up for legalization is much, much worse.

Submitted by a former resident of Colorado.

August 9, 2019