marijuana prohibition
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Dear Marijuana Prohibitionists – What About The Children?

marijuana prohibitionBy John Knetemann

The children. Are you thinking about them? You should be because all the prohibitionists seem to be thinking about the children. Or at least they think they are thinking about the children. The truth is drug prohibition has not been incredibly helpful to keeping drugs out of the hands of children. We have all heard the argument that legalizing cannabis would allow children to get it more readily. That seems to make sense. If marijuana is legal it is only intuitive that it would be easier for everyone to get marijuana. But looking at the facts and doing just a bit of thinking, it is quite clear that marijuana prohibition allows pot to be more available to children.

According to a study done in 2009 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, children found it much easier to find marijuana than alcohol. But that is completely opposite to what the prohibitionist says. In 2009, marijuana was not legal anywhere in the United States, and alcohol certainly was. Then how come children were able to get their hands on marijuana easier than alcohol? The answer is simple. Illegal drug dealers do not ID or check the age of their customers, while liquor stores do. That is pretty obvious, right?

A drug dealer does not care if the person is thirteen, seventeen, or eighty-two. All that the drug dealer cares about is that the customer has money. But who can blame them? They have no reason to care! I am sure a majority of liquor stores don’t really care either, but they ID anyways out of the interest of making more money. Whether an illegal drug dealer sells to a minor or someone that is thirty-five, their actions are still illegal. Meaning they might as well sell to those that are underage anyways. When a liquor store sells to a child, they are at risk of losing their business, which means they can no longer make money. The same goes for a legal recreational marijuana dispensary. If they sell to a minor, it means they could lose their store.

So who is really thinking about the children? Those for prohibition? Or those for legalization?

  • Pan Piper

    not only do illegal drug dealers not check IDs, they prefer
    to sell to kids… they PREFER to sell to kids…
    that’s because youth are rarely associated with drug enforcement.
    What was easier to buy in high school? booze or cannabis?
    If you’re like most people, it was FAR easier to buy cannabis.
    Legalizing/regulating cannabis will make it far harder for
    kids to buy it…

    • As Elvis would say, “thank you. thank you very much.”

  • It was a long time ago, that I was a child, but when I was, I had no trouble getting either booze or weed. Folks act like children are stupid but if they want something, they are smart enough to find a way. And there is no doubt that politicians waving the children flag could actually care less. Someday folks will wake up, but I doubt it will be today?

  • Sarijuana

    Great points!

  • Johnny Liberty

    Can you post the link to the 2009 study mentioned above?

  • Choom Gang

    The land and labor needed to make alcohol =X
    The land and labor needed to produce the dried flower =Y
    Which one = the higher number?
    If Y is the lower number and has a much higher profit margin, because of prohibition, will the businessman try to sell X or Y to your children?

    Simple economics says that eliminating prohibition drastically reduces profit margins. Therefore eliminating the motivation to sell to your children.

    And therefore, prohibition = you want more children to use it.

    Political jujitsu; what about the children?

  • Harm Principle

    Not all drug dealers don’t care about age of the buyer. That is a generalization that leaves out the.possibility that a dealer is just extending needed services to his.friends and friends of friends. While money is.obviously part of the exchange I think your assesment abandons the possibility that a person can.be a respoñsible weed dealer. This misconception is extended to the laws’ consequences. Weed dealers are required for there to be weed users. Fact is, the Constitution protects all of us and prohibition is unconstitutional. The plant came well before the.government and capitalism is no more criminal in this situation than any other under the constitution.

  • Tim Cook

    It was harder to get booze, not by much but harder. I could walk in a dealers house and buy pot but I had to find someone to buy me booze.

  • Tony Aroma

    Whenever debating a prohibitionist, you should always open with “think of the children.” It’s like disarming them, then pointing their own gun right back at them. We need to take that phrase from the prohibitionists, make it our own, and use it against them. After all, it doesn’t really support the prohibitionist argument anyway, they just think it sounds good when they say it, and hope no one will really think about it too much.

  • Duncan20903

    The truth is that the only part of “the children” that the self serving prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants care about protecting is their value as political pawns and as a spice to make their hysterical rhetoric even more hysterical.

    According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the 2013 youth use rates of cannabis in Florida and San Francisco and the nationwide numbers thrown in for free as a surprise bonus:

    Ever used marijuana (one or more times during their life)
    USA: 40.7%
    Florida: 38.7%
    San Francisco: 28.2%

    Tried marijuana before age 13 years (for the first time)
    USA: 8.6%
    Florida: 8.3%
    San Francisco: 5.9%

    Currently used marijuana (one or more times during the 30 days before the survey)
    USA: 23.4%
    Florida: 22.0%
    San Francisco: 16.3%

    http://nccd.cdc.GOV/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?TT=G&OUT=0&SID=HS&QID=QQ&LID=FL&YID=2013&LID2=SF&YID2=2013&COL=T&ROW1=N&ROW2=N&HT=C3&LCT=LL&FS=S1&FR=R1&FG=G1&FSL=S1&FRL=R1&FGL=G1&PV=&TST=False&C1=&C2=&QP=G&DP=1&VA=CI&CS=N&SYID=&EYID=&SC=DEFAULT&SO=ASC

    Don’t forget that San Francisco has had storefront medicinal cannabis vendors for longer than California has had the Compassionate Use Act.

  • Duncan20903

    The truth is that the only part of “the children” that the self serving prohibitionist parasites and their sycophants care about
    protecting is their value as political pawns and as a spice to make their hysterical rhetoric even more hysterical.

    According to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the 2013 youth use rates of cannabis in Florida and San Francisco and the nationwide numbers thrown in for free as a surprise bonus:

    Ever used marijuana (one or more times during their life)
    USA: 40.7%
    Florida: 38.7%
    San Francisco: 28.2%

    Tried marijuana before age 13 years (for the first time)
    USA: 8.6%
    Florida: 8.3%
    San Francisco: 5.9%

    Currently used marijuana (one or more times during the 30 days before the survey)
    USA: 23.4%
    Florida: 22.0%
    San Francisco: 16.3%

    http://nccd.cdc.GOV/youthonline/App/Results.aspx?TT=G&OUT=0&SID=HS&QID=QQ&LID=FL&YID=2013&LID2=SF&YID2=2013&COL=T&ROW1=N&ROW2=N&HT=C3&LCT=LL&FS=S1&FR=R1&FG=G1&FSL=S1&FRL=R1&FGL=G1&PV=&TST=False&C1=&C2=&QP=G&DP=1&VA=CI&CS=N&SYID=&EYID=&SC=DEFAULT&SO=ASC

    Don’t forget that San Francisco has had storefront medicinal cannabis vendors for longer than California has had the Compassionate Use Act.

  • Thanks Johnny. I’d been thinking about this quite a bit for the last day or so, after a Stepford wife from Aurora, CO, posted that she and friends intended to stake out the new pot shop in Aurora and photograph customers in order to “shame them”, and protect “the children.

    I did post on that string at “The Cannabist” that pot is historically easier to get. Dealers don’t check ID. Reading one of the other comments below, I have to agree that dealer must prefer to sell to a younger crowd. First, the dealers are less likely to get robbed, and secondly, they’re less likely to be ratted out.

    • oneofthem

      yea she must want the kids to end up going to the black market where they have a chance at getting a lot more than just the munchies. f these ignorant ppl that cannot accept that some people just PREFER cannabis over alcohol. Ill take shame over being robbed beat or shot any goddamn day you effing ignorant twat. /end rant

  • malcolmkyle

    Violent crime has decreased in Denver with recreational legalization. Isn’t that better for our children?

    “According to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (including homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 11.1%.”

    [Study: Marijuana legalization doesn’t increase crime. MSNBC. 2014]

    Compared with the same time period in 2013, in the first six months of 2014 violent crime is down overall by 3%, with murder down by 38%, sexual assault down by 20% and robbery down by 5.3%. Property crime (including burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft from motor vehicle and arson) dropped by 5%.

    Medical cannabis has been easy to get in Colorado for years. It did not result in “skyrocketing DUI fatalities” as many feared:

    “From 2006 to 2011, traffic fatalities decreased in Colorado 16 percent”

    The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact. Rocky Mountain HIDTA. 2013.

    Early reports show a possible decrease in fatal accidents after legalization:

    “The number of fatal crashes also dropped 25.5% from 2013 to 2014 during the first quarter”

    —The Great Colorado Weed Experiment. New York Times. Aug 2, 2014.

    Colorado has had very lenient laws regarding cannabis for years.

    “Marijuana Usage Down Among Colorado Teens, Up Nationally: Study Shows”

    The CDC report shows:

    • Youth marijuana use in Colorado went down 2.8 percent from 2009 (24.8 percent) to 2011 (22 percent).

    • Youth marijuana use nationally went up 2.3 percent from 2009 (20.8 percent) to 2011 (23.1 percent).

    • In 2011, youth marijuana usage in Colorado fell below the national average — 22 percent in Colorado, 23.1 percent in the U.S.

    • Availability of drugs on school grounds in Colorado went down 5 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (17.2 percent).

    • Nationally, illegal drugs offered, sold or given on school property was up 3.1 percent from 2009 (22.7 percent) to 2011 (25.6 percent).

    • Availability of illegal drugs on school grounds in Colorado is below the national average by 8.4 percent — 17.2 percent in Colorado, 25.6 percent in the U.S.

    Past Month Colorado High School Pot Use

    2009: 25%

    2011: 22%

    2013: 20%

    Past Month National High School Pot Use

    2009: 20.8%

    2011: 23.1%

    2013: 23.4%

    “Pot Use Among Colorado Teens Appears to Drop After Legalization”

    —usnews . Com, Aug 7, 2014

  • Captain Obvious

    Also, some dealers may try to pedal other harder prohibited drugs onto our children when they dont ID, compounding the risks greatly.

  • oneofthem

    Also ,the children sometimes get robbed, assaulted or worse just trying to find some. Legalization will make everyone safer.

  • mike1188

    My sons 8th grade class mate was caught smoking marijuana in his school bathroom. His parents do not smoke marijuana that I have ever witnessed. In talking to this kids parents I learned he bought it from someone in the neighbor hood. They said he learned from other kids. Black market drug dealers don’t care about kids prohibition does not stop lids from trying marijuana. Only legalization will have some kind of regulation on marijuana. Only this way can we truly protect our kids. Now and in there future. So they don’t get locked up for smoking marijuana.

  • Knephew

    It doesnt matter where you live or what you tell your children. They will find drugs if they want them

  • SusanR

    Totally agree! Meth should be legalized also since it is easy for teens to obtain.