160: Marijuana Legalization (Sort Of)

With many states enacting medical marijuana laws at this point, and most of those also having recreational marijuana laws, we thought it was time to explore the legalizing marijuana debate. We explore some of the topics around the idea of marijuana legalization. Some of the research has conflicting results, but we talk through some of the basic points. Listen in and then tell us your thoughts. 

marijuana legalization

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recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature


welcome back it’s recovery sort of I am Jason and I am in favor of marijuana legalization and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Caroline I’m also a person in long-term recovery and we’re talking about the idea of legalizing marijuana why because well as we record election day in Maryland is two days away and we are voting on this on our actual ballot but they’re still States out there that have not legalized or have not recreationally legalized so I think it’s still an important conversation and and even for people in Maryland after the election once we find out the results of whether it is recreationally legal or not uh there’s still concerns on both sides of that right I think there’s still issues and things to talk through and I don’t know I guess that’s where we’re coming from so does everybody have like an initial stance of where you stand on it I mean I I obviously I’m I’m forward I’m sure Legalize It why not what do we have to lose yeah and typically I am most of my views on that kind of stuff are more libertarian so I’m like yeah sure why not let adults do what adults want to do okay is that a problem yeah I’ll be honest I Saw the Sign like Ace of Base

um that this was gonna be open up your eyes you know uh a topic for for voting on uh this coming Tuesday through three four five days ago so I had no idea until very recently oh wow um yeah I’m not that tuned in with the marijuana legislation it should be a top priority it doesn’t super impact my life I’m surprised you weren’t all over that one no no um I will say I don’t um and maybe I maybe feel a little stronger in One Direction than the other after having done some research of my own for this conversation um but prior to this I I was conflicted I did not I could not have told you for sure which way I would vote on it so okay well now that you’ve done the research which way are you leaning um I think I’m leaning in favor of it okay I think for me when I was thinking about like what would be the clear yes the clear yes for me would be if they were going to simultaneously outlaw alcohol oh then it’s a clear and easy answer that’s interesting for me I think one of the things that there were a couple of things that that swayed me as I was doing research but one was they actually there was a study that shows that alcohol use decreases in um states that have legalized I think alcohol is terrible quite honestly so um you know anything that keeps people from drinking as much oh see I’m the whole like everybody’s just be able to do whatever they want [  ] heroin should be legal any kind of all drugs should just be legal and adults should be able to do what adults the problem is is adults doing whatever they want impacts other people in the community and alcohol has a lot of it but you replenish them for those things not for using like if I want to have a party at my house and we all want to trip on LSD and run around the backyard naked and we don’t hurt anybody that should be fun awesome right you know that should be completely fine and totally legal what’s the date for that yeah if we we go out into the neighborhood and start vandalizing people’s property or spray painting on the [  ] local school you know what I mean then we get in trouble for that but I think we know that people getting in trouble trouble especially for alcohol related or um exacerbated crimes doesn’t actually stop those crimes from happening like people are still driving drunk very regularly people are still beating their eyes beating their children um I mean if you take a step I almost did some vandalism recently by the way like no like two months ago there was I was driving somewhere and there was this large setup of like Haystacks and there was two of them one was brown and one who was covered in the white marshmallow things you see them covered in sometimes and the one that was brown was decorated and set up like real huge like a 30-foot teddy bear or something and I was like that’s so cute but the white one was just white and I was like but it was set up the same way and I was like I’m Waking my son up at like three in the morning we’re gonna come over here and paint some eyeballs [  ] right maybe is it on that 274 or whatever no one of the Joseph highways so I thought about it and then I was like I’m old and tired I’m not waking up at three in the morning and then like two days later they had painted it so I’m like I’m glad we didn’t [  ] it up shout out to Gifford yeah almost did some vandalism uh in my old age no so the idea with alcohol you’re giving somebody a sentence that is supposed to keep their logical brain their you know prefrontal cortex from being able to you know say oh yeah last time I did this this happened and then I got this consequence I don’t like that but you’re doing that and then you’re giving them one drink which is gonna impair their ability to use that prefrontal cortex and then they’re having a second drink because the first one felt good so I don’t know the consequences for behaviors done on alcohol actually work at all like they seem kind of totally useless so what uh yeah I’m about to solve alcohol problems like well what could we do for these alcohol people that night we’re talking about weed today God damn it but then that brings up a good question is uh does the same apply with with smoking pot can people make rational decisions on smoking pot um I mean it’s like most drugs I think depends on how much you know what I mean like it at some point we know it impairs you’re thinking but to what level and what degree depends on what you’re actually doing you know are you playing video games who cares yeah you’re running a [  ] Machinery making trucks that you know the GMC factory yeah you might cut off someone’s finger like you know and it’s interesting from working with some people who who do use medical marijuana and my preconceived notions before that of like oh these [  ] just getting high right like stuff like that and then seeing seeing them on it and not on it is very very interesting it’s like a neat experience to some people seem honestly like it okay there’s at least two people I see that if they were doctors and they were like the surgeon that was going to perform surgery on me I’m telling both of them to [  ] use weed first like they are just more put together people and I’m like honestly I hope you’re using this when you drive because like I don’t want to see you on the road without it I feel like that’s a weird angle that most people don’t get and I’m like I don’t even know what the [  ] to make of it half the time I’m like I don’t know so I could read so does the pot bring them up to normal levels of functioning or it lowers their nervous systems response to everything so people who your nervous system isn’t like tuned up when you come into the world you get that from whatever your caregiver is going going through right so if you’re sitting next to your caregiver who’s usually really calm and they get really [  ] scared as a kid you’re going to be really [  ] scared because you don’t know what’s happening but that’s not good right so we get tuned in to people with mistuned nervous systems so basically your body is going to have an alarm system on it that’s your nervous system it filters everything through dangerous or not if it gets mistuned you could have that alarm system sensitivity jacked up to 11 where every time a [  ] Leaf blows around you you are triggered and in a survival State and that could be the whole day in the womb like when your mother’s not carrying you or it can be mistooned the other way where it’s at zero and there’s [  ] tanks at your front door and you’re like ah we’re safe but the the marijuana seems to inhibit that nervous system response some which I I admittedly could be dangerous in a dangerous situation when you’re a surgeon no no surgeon you won’t calm yeah right rational right you want them in a safe place but if you were in an actual like if somebody pulls out a gun in an alley might not be the best time to be on marijuana might be maybe you can make a clearer decision because you’re crazy on the weed smoking like movies where they always have the dude and the Alec The Gangs getting ready to beat him up they’re like whoa dude take a chill you know right right it might not be terrible either um but basically it inhibits that nervous system over action and allows people to be in this calmer place and that’s from there like that’s where healing and growth happened so I think that’s what’s helping them in the world it’s just putting them in a place where they can like instead of their kid crying because they spilled their milk and the person flips out and is like yelling at the kid while they’re wiping the floor frantically it’s more like ah [  ] all right let me get a towel you know what I mean like it just gives them the ability to have that proper reaction in the moment instead of the disproportionate overreaction that we usually have I don’t know so it’s it’s really fascinating but yeah yeah it was just interesting I I was wondering the reason for that question was you know these two individuals you were speaking of are they low functioning and and less low functioning now or were they already kind of like normal functioning and the pot has you know made them super high like just where where they come where was their Baseline um well and this is where I think being a therapist gets really weird and and I’m noticing as more and more as we have more of these conversations on here because you guys are like we don’t know that [  ] and I’m like oh well okay it’s weird to watch how people present in the world to everyone else and then have them come in for an hour and tell you everything that’s going on behind the scenes of what everybody else is actually seeing because I feel like we all have the ability to to look at this in ourself like we people will say oh man your life looks great got a nice job kids wife whatever right but on the inside we feel out of our [  ] mind sometimes and and I think it’s interesting to watch that in other people like the world probably perceives them as oh yeah they’re put together they’re fine but then they come in and like you see what’s really going on internally while they’re presenting is fine and you’re like [  ] our society is [  ] yeah like this is what’s going on inside of everybody and we are [  ] because we’re all out here pretending that it’s something else well that’s a lot of our coping strategies our coping strategies of how to function in the world they aren’t all healthy though just because we can function in the world doesn’t mean that we’re doing it in a really mentally or spiritually healthy way right I mean look I got through life without an antidepressant for a lot of years right but when I look at how I got through it after having the experience of getting through my life on an antidepressant I can look back and say [  ] I needed something back then right I was keeping it together people thought I had my [  ] together but my life looked [  ] up internally and I just I don’t think we give enough Credence to that we don’t give it enough importance like I think a lot of us are unhappy even though Our Lives look put together or successful or whatever we’re just we’re just not happy so what the [  ] go to success but we are way off the topic a lot of the legalization argument of of legalizing everything comes around to a couple points that I think are pretty obvious at this point one Whatever policies we have around addiction and substance use and our whole legal system right now I [  ] failed yes you just look at any major city or any area and whatever we’re doing now is a fail like okay we’re not helping a lot of people I mean we’re helping people but I mean the the crime rates are going up drug use and dependence rates are going up so our current approach isn’t going to fix anything right so it’s kind of to me personally throwing that out and starting at a different place of where look let’s just let people use and then figure out all right why are you using it in excess and what things can we do to stop your excessive using or what things can we do to get you functionally well in society like that to me seems like a better place to start but as long as we have things illegal and you get locked up for possession and all that you know it’s it’s puts all this shame it puts all this uh Black Market stuff you know what I mean into the mix and man if only the 12-step program or the members of it could have that open view of like how can we just stop people from having unhealthy practices and not worry about anything else yeah no I I think that’s a really good point to make at the beginning of this right like I to buy in whatever where the [  ] we’re doing it ain’t working right so if anything I am definitely a proponent of change right I’m all about like we need to get on board with changing something so I think I will probably buy into things or or implementing programs that and ultimately fail or don’t work or show us that they don’t work just because I know what we’re doing now doesn’t work I lean towards yeah [  ] change it let’s just try anything at this point so I think that’s a good thing to have in people’s minds before we start talking about like this is a pro this is a con like do you believe what we’re doing right now is working that’s a good place to start if you do maybe this episode isn’t for you uh if you believe in change or or that what we’re doing isn’t working then maybe that is a good starting point for like okay is this the right change to make in this scenario what comes up first before we even look through like the kind of pros and cons we’ve looked into or maybe this is drawn from the pros and cons you’ve already researched but what comes up like first thing when you think of negative impacts of legalizing recreational marijuana like what will happen that’s bad okay so for me my two immediate fears would be more access for adolescents and underaging people I know if you look at alcohol right now as terrible as it is it’s the most abused and causes the most deaths and you know is affiliated with the most crime you know all that stuff because it’s easily available you know when I was 16 17 years old I didn’t have a hard time getting access to to alcohol as marijuana becomes legal that same problem is going to come up when it’s everywhere and easy to get it’s going to be everywhere and easy for kids to get I think I had an easier time getting weed than alcohol at 17. because I didn’t have to have somebody to buy it for me like I could just go make the purchase myself I couldn’t go to the establishment and buy the alcohol but I could go to the dealer and buy the weed like it was harder for me to find that intermediary person to to buy the alcohol for me than it was to oh yeah but I guess I’m thinking either was always access at a friend’s house or a parent’s house or someone there was alcohol always around it’s like country boy [  ] I think that’s one of those things where it’s like it’s a little hard to exactly know what the end result will be and there’s an argument on both sides of what more access for teens right yeah yeah I I found it interesting when I was doing a little bit of research I did for this uh that teen usage was in there I guess it doesn’t Shock Me quite as much anymore because it does seem to be uh our society’s Focus we’d like to justify everything by like is it good for the children it is and it drives me crazy and I have kids and I still think that’s [ __ ] stupid but I yeah I’m just thinking about my kids right now and like it does not concern me that marijuana would be more accessible to them like that’s not a huge fear of mine what about you what comes up for you as like a major downside it’s it’s a little hard to kind of rewind back and separate out a little you know some of the stuff I learned through doing research to where I was prior to that that’s all right um I will say I I think for me you were talking about like coming from a place of like what we’re doing is not working and being in favor of any change I agree what we’re doing as a society’s not working but I come from a place of like let’s make smart change not just any change

I come from a place of like drugs drugs are bad yeah and I think you know that’s just I mean I destroyed my life with drugs and then I came to n a and I came to Anna young so I got indoctrinated right of like don’t pick it up it won’t get in you drugs ruin your life and so it’s very hard like I’m I’m definitely pot for me is is the one that’s more questionable because I do believe that it’s it’s much less um detrimental to to people on society than alcohol is but if it were up to me like probably all of it would just be illegal and people would learn to [  ] function in a substance yeah that’s interesting the drugs are bad argument is always fascinating to me from where I’m at now because I’m always I’m like we probably all sitting here take drugs every day something right right so I mean I might take I took headache medicine a couple days ago and it was glorious got rid of my [  ] headache and my back pain drugs or drugs they’re not and that’s why like uh and I’m super in favor of medication too I’m like I’m like if it’s gonna help take it well so it is that social acceptability well and it’s it’s the the mood or mind altering piece I think too is is for me the differentiation everything’s well the differentiation even of the same [  ] drug if we look at like opioid-based you know painkillers it’s like heroin’s [  ] terrible but whatever other Oxycontin or that shit’s completely fine right I guess they’re not opiates but they’re sort of medically yeah and it’s like you know who it comes from categorizes whether it’s good or bad even when it’s the same goddamn thing well they I mean that’s what they did with the weed for many years now is they took the chemical compound that it was made something really similar to it that wasn’t illegal put it on the market and sold it and like we don’t know what that shit’s doing either like that’s probably less safe than the actual [  ] thing that grows out of the ground in the first place an example of that like what are they doing that they had a couple of things I don’t remember the names of them because I never really got into it but they were selling it at gas stations and [  ] well yeah they had the bath salts but they had like knockoff weed and I think it was basically different variations of what they have now this Delta eight or whatever THC that is like slightly different and not as effective but I mean you don’t know what else is in that [ __ ] so it’s like basically people are going to find these Ways and Means even if it’s through household products right we just I don’t know eliminating drugs and then it’s like how do you classified right ruling them all illegal because that would make the entire medical field fall apart if we just said drugs are illegal not not all drugs not the good drugs that I take today

I think people if you look back over history thousands of years people have been using different chemical substances to alter their mental states for different reasons first a lot of cultures it was like religious experiences were based around these whatever psychedelics or different drugs that they used or alcohol was assimilated with religion you know things like that and back then they didn’t have like the substance abuse problems that we have now it seems like to me if you look it’s way more culturally driven and the fact that we are now so sick as a society or what drives a lot of the problems yeah the idea of just being able to go home and like completely check out I mean we think about this now with all the technology stuff like we’re totally into oh you can go home and put on a VR headset and pretend you’re in [  ] Japan or do some therapeutic you know meditation thing that gives you all these visuals and all that stuff I mean we’re going to do that with technology why not just be able to take some [  ] acid or mushrooms and lay outside and watch the stars and have that experience like that could be a very natural neat interesting experience you know if it’s not shrouded in all this like shame and illegal and whatever [Music] this episode has been brought to you in part by Voices of Hope Inc a non-profit recovery organization made up of people in recovery family members and allies together members strive to protect the Dignity of those that use drugs and those in recovery by advocating for treatment harm reduction and support resources and mentoring please visit us at

www.voicesofhopemaryland.org and consider donating to our calls


I think Caroline said something really really interesting to me you said I’m all for the medicinal drugs anything that can help me get better faster that’s exactly what drugs do yeah they fixed all of us when we they were our solution right we felt bad inside our bodies and we went to them and they created us get better though for me personally even if they legalized everything tomorrow I’m still not doing them I mean that’s just that’s the way it is for me but right because we don’t drink alcohol it’s legal so that doesn’t change anything yeah that’s all right well it’s just the the this point of like it didn’t ultimately improve our societal position success right but it did work it did exactly what the [  ] we wanted we felt miserable and it put our bodies and that’s more of that old programming you’re talking about that indoctrination right I don’t know I mean I feel like so for me and this what’s the difference between taking a a drug that works in 25 minutes to make me feel okay in my body and taking ibuprofen that worked in 25 minutes to make me feel okay the ibuprofen for something that’s not a long-standing issue yes yes no I agree there’s a long-standing issue you need to get to the root of why you have pain I totally agree but just like when I had my shoulder surgery and they said listen you can choose to not take pain medicine but your body is going to be so agitated in this area it’s not going to be able to heal it’s going to swell instead of healing right they said taking the pain medicine provides the environment for that part of your body to heal faster and feel better faster right I would agree and that’s what they’re talking about with all this psychedelic research they’re doing they’re saying that it speeds up the process of creating the new grooves in the brain right the new wired together neurons and that’s what it’s doing we’re speeding up the ability for people to feel better faster and if we’d have known which I think we know now if we’d have known when all these people were getting into drugs at you know 15 16 17 whatever that oh there’s a bigger problem and it’s not actually drug addiction it’s actually this [  ] societal problem where we all just feel miserable inside uh maybe we could have started addressing that while they began using the drugs for quicker relief and then they would be in a place of calm where they could actually hear and change you know what I mean like that’s one of my first jobs as a therapist you come in to see me if you’re dysregulated we can’t do anything you’re not going to hear any good ideas or think through your life you have to get regulated first and that’s what drugs do I I’m not saying people should go use drugs and go to therapy I’m just saying like I I question our take on just drugs being bad like they’re doing a thing that’s why we’re [  ] doing them they’re providing relief they’re fixing the inside I get it it’s not permanent and it leads to some shitty stuff but that’s where we need to be doing something else to get these people the right experience yeah I agree I just I thought it was an interesting statement of like I just want to feel better faster and I’m like yes that’s what we’re all doing that’s the goal and that’s I mean I guess now we’ll get way off but that’s where my support of like medicated assisted treatment comes in like if people were at a state where they’re so I don’t know damaged hurt whatever you want to call it you know that they don’t know how to like regulate and live without wanting to be outside of their [  ] experience we’ll give them some temporary relief from that but set them up with skills that are going to teach them how to deal with that long term like the long term should solution should not be just medicate them and do nothing where I think some of those programs fall short is it needs to be followed up with like intense therapy is that sexual abuse therapy is it mental health therapy is that physical abuse therapy like what what are the driving factors behind that let’s get you to a safe place now with this medication and see if we can get you to a safe place without it so I did I do have at least I’ll call it evidence I don’t know if it’s evidence because I’m sure you’ll dispute where it came from but always it said for kids back to my point about kids a 2012 National survey American attitudes on substance abuse alcohol and cigarettes were the most readily available substance for youth 12 to 17. 50 and 44 respectively youth were least likely to report they could get marijuana within a day 31 and 45 percent reported that they were unable to get marijuana at all so at least in 2012 half of the kids said they couldn’t get married

you’re surveying kids who don’t want to get in trouble for using weed I mean how many of them are going to own to the fact that they know but they don’t want to get in trouble for drinking alcohol either um a lot of people I bet it’s regional I’m sure it is I guess my questionable thing one on anything self-reported where you’re talking about something that a person’s not supposed to be doing and they’re especially under 18 that just makes it too risky for me to do self-reported surveys but how would you do a survey on that you’re just gonna video 50 million kids and see which ones why do we need to know with their phones why do I need to know how much access there is for my child for marijuana why don’t I just raise my child to feel good in their body and then they can do what they want they can trust I can trust it I’ve raised them to take it because we want evidence to show like all right if this drug is more available and it becomes more widely used and then they see higher levels of like schizophrenia or lower IQs is there a causation there like is there anything in important there like it’s important to understand when we make these social decisions like what are the impacts of these things and are there going to be results that we can look at and try to measure to see like hey I mean who knows I could be completely wrong Caroline might be completely right we might legalize everything and then all of a sudden people go to [  ] and they all we all get stupid and we all you know fall apart and then I’d be like well [  ] we did that I tried that and it didn’t work but if we don’t if we aren’t paying attention to is it the using that’s causing it or is it something else we don’t know what the cause is well and don’t we want to know just based on the conversation like don’t we want to know because we were just talking about which is more accessible currently right like that’s I mean I mean out of an interested perspective just out of curiosity I want to know everything but that doesn’t mean that I actually really care and how do we come to a solution to the problem if we don’t even want to address the problem like maybe the problem is there’s Early Access and maybe the solution is Early Education more awareness with our kids and our families more honest conversations around drugs and their impacts but if we just ignore the fact and go ah it doesn’t matter if they can get it or not we’re not going to address the problem I I feel fair and maybe maybe it doesn’t matter because the alcohol access already is there to whatever degree it’s there but I I’m pretty sure that they’ve found that there is correlation between the age when someone first starts using substances that help you change well your brain’s not fully developed an addiction right so you know the longer that you can keep a kid from drinking or or taking mood altering drugs in theory you’re lessening their odds of of be having addiction issues which is really describing that addicts use drugs sooner shocking yeah yeah correlation not causation it doesn’t feel well and we know it’s sooner than everyone else I mean teens have access to a whole lot of [  ] that I hope my teams don’t particularly participate in but I gotta hope that the job and the modeling I did for them presented with them the ability for them to choose what’s right for their life in a healthy way when I just think from a practical experience for myself marijuana and alcohol easily available harder drugs not so much until I got a little older you know cigarettes easily available both my parents smoked you know what I mean so the things that were legal or a little more socially acceptable were definitely easier to get because more people were using them I I don’t know I guess ease of access has never even occurred to me is like what I’m supposed to be focused on as a parent like it’s never you I mean yeah make sure they can’t get to the poison when they’re little so they don’t drink it and they don’t they don’t know any better but like my goal is that I’m sending them out into the world whether that’s at you know 15 sending them to high school or they’ve turned 18 and miraculously all of a sudden I can trust them them to do whatever the [  ] they want in their whole life which I still don’t or won’t at 18 like that day’s not gonna pass and I’m like oh they’re 18 now I totally have faith in their adult decision making process like well I think the idea though is that any drugs or anything that we influence into kids brains because any drugs do affect our brains you know in some way or another all differently obviously before their brains are fully developed you know is that really good like there should be some warning signs around that like hey maybe you want to hold like this the way we teach our kids is like look this stuff’s going to be around you’re probably going to drink alcohol at some point in your life you’re probably gonna you know smoke try cigarettes or do drugs Maybe not maybe they’ll never try them and good for them me my wife gets mad because I’m like I don’t know go out and try it maybe you’ll like it like I don’t know I want to tell you not to but there’s risk there you know what I mean so we’re honest with them about the risk like well why don’t you wait till you’re a little older it’s probably a little safer to do when you’re you know 21 is the legal age but more like 25 because your brain’s still growing until you’re 25 and if you can just hold off as long as possible like that’s probably healthier and and I don’t disagree with that but then I present the situation of my wonderful daughter Jackie who in ninth and 10th grade missed most of her school years from suicide attempts that we had to go get her stomach pumped we had to go to these emergency room visits we had to keep taking her to places and Facilities that would keep her safe for a few days just to send her home on some new medications and for it all to recur all over again and us fighting against her sneaking out and putting herself in dangerous situations in the middle of the night with a grown adult men that she had never met before right like all these dangerous [  ] terrible behaviors and you know fighting against like her using marijuana in the house from time to time and [  ] like this to the point that she ended up having to leave the house and go live somewhere else with a friend like it and now here we are her she’s in her junior year we have assisted her with getting a medical marijuana card she can follow the rules she can do the dishes she’s passing all her classes and going to be able to play basketball this year and it’s like we can sit here and have this wonderful debate about access to marijuana for teenagers and how it [  ] up their brains and I’m not trying to [  ] up anybody’s brains I get it I’m not saying that’s not real but I’m looking at my real life anecdotal evidence and saying thank [  ] god weeds available right but there’s some things there that you mentioned that I think are important and I think actually need to be pushed a little more is like the medical card and like medical understanding and education on when that’s going to be practical for kids and when it’s not you know what I mean just it’s like an ADHD medication I think they [  ] Dole out ADHD medicines and like candy to kids and it’s not healthy you know the difference being now we’re talking about making it just legal which means it’s what might not be on I mean in my house by parents had a liquor cabinet that was not locked or anything it was just a cabinet in the house it had a bunch of bottles of [  ] whiskey in it they didn’t drink regularly so we would sneak in there and drink the alcohol and like nobody knew because they didn’t go into it daily and you know if weed is available to kids like that the likelihood that that’s going to happen goes way up now are there people that it’s going to benefit from a hundred percent we know marijuana’s helped I think it’s children with uh what’s that where you have seizures and stuff epilepsy it’s been very helpful for kids that have cancer and things like that so it’s definitely got a place I mean it definitely has some very therapeutic and medically important uses for kids even for young people so there are going to be times where a drug is the best choice even though it’s not optimal but to just make it readily available you know that’s a little different to me right but I guess the point that it doesn’t really blow my mind but but it just makes me not really tuned into this teenager argument about marijuana is the fact that we will sit here Nationwide and have debates about marijuana changing the chemical makeup of the brain in underage people but we won’t talk about the first two years of life and the gestation period that has way [  ] more ability to change the chemical makeup of your brain and impacts the course of your life but to do that we would actually have to like you know as parents do something different or believe in something different in the way we acted around our families and like we don’t want to have that discussion because that discussion if we can take care of all the ways we’re [  ] up our kids from you know conception to two years old we probably don’t need the discussion about weed because nobody needs to [  ] use it anymore 13 or 14 or 15. like it’s these conditions that are changing the brain originally that are leading to the brain to need something else to feel okay I mean I just never really latch onto the worry about the kids fair enough because I don’t give a [ __ ] about the kids today either one thing I and this was not necessarily something I’d considered prior to to digging into this but found pretty interesting was the concept of like people driving impaired on marijuana I remember um one time driving on marijuana and spent like an hour just being totally lost I don’t think I was unsafe so I I mean I think back in the days that I was like 32 seconds no it was it was a long time but um people saying like things about like or maybe it was a study maybe it was a study I heard about like they did in England where someone with drivers on marijuana would pull up to a roundabout and just like never go into the roundabout and so the mentality is like you’re just you’re you’re overly cautious you you are afraid to act and and you know the justification at the time is oh you know Maryland’s better um so I’d heard that but what I hadn’t really thought about and whether that’s true or not I mean I think there’s some studies that show that that’s the case but then also the decreased reaction time the inability or the difficulty currently that exists with cops abilities to determine if someone is on like no there’s no blood alcohol breathalyzer exactly exactly so that’s kind of came up to me as I was doing this because there’s without that Potential Threat there’s really very minimal deterrent to to doing it right so we need a utilizer yeah yeah right because there’s I mean as far as I know there’s nothing right now you you won’t need to measure you get an eye chart with them well you do though because if you’re going to arrest someone you have to have concrete evidence that they’ve committed a crime well but they yeah they were going 15 miles an hour on the highway that it is the crime we knew already like I mean you could [Laughter] all over

uh yeah there’ll be signs so honestly if I try to think of drawbacks for legalizing recreational marijuana now take into consideration for this like I’m already aware that we have legalized alcohol that is absolutely I don’t say it’s the devil but I mean it’s it does a lot of damage to our society really um in in you know physical ways to your body but also in probably ways you interact with those around you and and damage them too considering that is already legal and we are not going to change that because we already tried to once and [  ] that nobody was for it yeah why isn’t weed legal like I definitely prefer weed over Alcohol Safety wise I’ve always felt like weed was definitely less harmful yeah you know directly less less uh dangerous I mean I because I remember like I would drink alcohol I was set out in the beginning of the night and be like all right I’m gonna just have one or two and you know it’s gonna be fine and then once I start started drinking like nine later yeah I wouldn’t remember what the [  ] I did or would do [  ] that was totally crazy and I never did that kind of stuff when I was just smoking weed like it wasn’t like weed totally impaired my brain to the point of making completely irrational decisions well and and I think one of the things research-wise that really sways me the direction of weed would be the amount of increase in like violent crime and sexual assault when compared with alcohol and weed like people aren’t out there robbing banks and raping people and we generally I’m not saying it doesn’t happen right but I mean alcohol like increases those chances so much and it’s like that just doesn’t seem right well that’s one of the questions I had because I vaguely heard this as a criticism but I couldn’t find any evidence to support or dispute it is that in these states that they’ve already recreationally legalized it that alcohol consumption or alcohol related crimes have not gone down known that they’ve maintained the same now I’ve heard that I don’t know from where and I tried to find some research on both either way and I couldn’t find any research but that’s what I’ve heard I’ve heard like in Colorado is the one everybody always cites that their like alcohol use or alcohol problems haven’t gone away we’ve just added a new thing and one of the arguments for legalizing was that hey we’ll get people away from alcohol and over here to weed and I’m sure that’s happened to some degree but it hasn’t reduced the problem with alcohol hmm yeah so I mean some of the website we were looking at had like you know pros and cons and it talked about how traffic deaths traffic deaths and arrests for DUIs don’t increase and may decrease and then you know it talks about how they dropped 11 but then the con was traffic accidents and deaths increase when marijuana is legalized and that’s so confusing and they talk about Colorado as well and it’s like well what does that mean if you’ve found research that means both well so and this may be part of it because I think this might even be the same study I found a thing that said wow the total number of crashes declined from 2007 to 2011 the number of fatal crashes with drivers testing positive for marijuana Rose sharply and that’s from that probably that same Colorado study uh they did like a research to see what impacts it was having and I guess I get what they’re saying the point to me was well yeah if you tell people they’re allowed to smoke it you know they’re going to smoke it that doesn’t necessarily mean that was cause of the accident it’s a little different with marijuana because I can smoke marijuana today and it can still be in my system on Wednesday whereas most of the time with alcohol that’s not the case like if I drink alcohol today you know even a two three drinks by tomorrow it’s going to be out of my system so if I went out tomorrow and got in a fatal accident that would not be alcohol related well so yeah yeah well and I would say also another point would be like okay marijuana was in their system but was alcohol also in their system because people who are used to drinking alcohol and driving and then who throw marijuana on top probably are going to crash that’s a big difference I think the the just comparing those two those two statistics the the reduction is much more powerful than the fact that like okay of the people that died 11 of them happen to have smoked pot in the last 30 days right yeah that’s where that measure and that’s why I wasn’t holding on to that statistic for anything I just saw it in there and the first thing I thought was yeah because more people were allowed to smoke weed so of course more people are going to have wheat in their system like right I have also heard the argument that it doesn’t really reduce the black market impact or the drug cartels impact on the drug Market what typically happens is the cartels just find a way to enter the legal drug market and then they’re just selling their same products legally so you know the argument that it will hurt drug cartels in this black market seems to be contradicted there because you know one there’s always going to be a black market because there just will be for everything and now how much influence or how much power that Black Market has you know again to me if you just deregulate everything and let people just do whatever they want then we don’t need a black one right give it all the way free there’s no purpose for a black market unless they’re paying you to take it is there a potential downside of legalizing marijuana where the drug dealers and cartels that are focused on marijuana Anna then shift their focus and attention towards harder drugs which are still illegal and and further saturate the market with more and more heroin and um I would imagine they’re [  ] pumping out as much as they can there doesn’t seem to be a over abundance in Supply in the market but you have to figure I mean there’s entire infrastructure system set up towards getting oh just for the marathon yeah if you put those guys out of business what are they going to do they’re go I mean easiest solution is okay well let’s let’s start selling cocaine now let’s start selling heroin I mean what I thought of when Billy said that the cartels would enter the legal Market I’m like well these rich ass cartels that have been swimming in millions since they’ve been selling drugs anyway they probably already have legal businesses places like I don’t know that them being in the legal pot Market is going to make them any worse or we find a way to just tax that revenue and then yeah at least we’re getting a cut of it it or at least maybe then they have to act a little more respectively because they’re a legitimate businessman the point there I guess was in California I guess even though they had some uh legalization laws they’re still having issues with cartel sneaking over the border and a lot of these grow sites and things that are happening within California and I you know I didn’t study that specific area enough but there’s still this illegal Market where they’re circumventing the taxes and all that stuff and now there’s not as much prosecution of any of that so the cartels are kind of almost or were for a while we’re being left kind of to just do carte blanche with these big grow operations out in the woods in California so now they’ve recognized that so now they’ve called in a National Guard to start going out trying to find and shut down some of these illegal cartel operations because they thought legalizing it would make it go away and it has not well but I I think that’s a learning curve right okay we implemented it we do this cartels still exists well how can we adjust it to make it so that they don’t right you know what I mean do we make Dean to make it cheaper do we need to like need to make it more accessible store like you know what I mean there’s got to be some aspect of it that’s keeping the cartel able to undercut what they’re doing right keep going low I think even when you think of like moonshine like is there a market for illegal moonshine I guess that exists there is but is it as huge as like the black market drug you know what I mean like no it’s not near the same as what we see so if we take these like billion dollar cartels and just make them million dollar cartoons all right [ __ ] it that’s still a good thing yeah I don’t think they would agree with that the cartels yeah they’re gonna look for another way to to to bring in rabbit now okay so what does that look like what’s what’s the downstream effects of that yeah you figured that out when we get there it doesn’t make the wrong decision I mean eventually if you remove the ability to gain anything by doing it illegally then nobody would do it illegally right if you can’t possibly sell illegal weed cheaper than the legal weed there would be no point you know what I mean so at some point there’s a factor that takes them out of the equation I don’t know what that is but if you legalize it and that’s not the factor then you go for another Factor right but again my point is is then they move into I mean they move into other markets well at some point after you legalize everything they have nothing else to do right so they’re going to start selling organs all right [Laughter] don’t come for mine you’re only going to get a half or eight one that’s all I’m saying so I guess this comes from some and again I’m not gonna cite off the specific research unless you want me to it says independent research reveals that in the Netherlands where marijuana marijuana was commercialized and sold openly at coffee shops Mary wanna use among young adults increased almost 300 percent I would wonder like the only negative that keeps getting pointed out is that more people are doing it nobody said that like quality of life has gone down or that you know things have gotten worse or crime went up so I I guess I just don’t look at more people do it as necessarily an automatic negative well the one I feel like that’s what we’re putting ahead on here about adolescence and I didn’t read it but it is a negative it says in studies they’ve done with kids that smoke pot it lowers IQs I wasn’t trying to make that argument I’m just here bringing up what a negative thing would be and that was one of them and I was just like man I don’t know how you’re measuring is that bad if we’re all happier honestly if all of our IQs in the general population over the next 10 years went down by five points and yet all of us increased by 25 life happiness but I guess that’s the point of the states that have legalized it like we haven’t seen happier like in Colorado like their crime rates haven’t dropped drastically or their society Norms haven’t gone somewhere else you know the tax revenue hasn’t exploded to where they’re just building brand new parks and schools everywhere like all these things that they said we were going to get they’re getting but they’re not having this great positive impact on the state and I still think it’s worth doing I’m just saying they went into it with this Euphoria of like oh we’re going to legalize this drug we’re going to get all these taxes it’s going to lower all this crime it’s going to get people off alcohol and now they’re saying well that’s not necessarily how this looks okay and it’s still got some positive impacts for the community I think it’s it’s just not this you Utopia idea that we thought it would be right no no and I get that and but those I think are still like the outward signs right like okay we didn’t get this great tax windfall to build all these wonderful structures or anything but like are people in general just happier are there more people saying hello to each other as they walk through the grocery store is there more conversations between people happening that probably never would have took place if they weren’t on the marijuana or whatever right like is it calming everybody’s nervous system to a point where we’re all actually just enjoying the experience of life more do you say hello to everyone you see in the grocery store no I don’t but I think my life would be better if I said hi to more of them I I think I would feel more a part of life I think I would run into them again at another store and be like oh my God hey you know what I mean like I don’t have that in my life and I feel like that’s part of what keeps me from more connection [Music] thank you


so maybe and we probably should have done this at like you know the 20 minute Mark not the hour and 20 minute mark But the let me just run down the pros and cons and I will leave a space if there’s something you all want to say about one of them I’ll try to leave a space in between each one so you can hop in there and say it if not we’ll just go to the next one and these are I’ve seemingly polar for the pros and cons so I’m not going to give all the tips about it but like the pro Maryland legalization boosts the economy okay that sounds good then the con to that you know there’s some research that says that somewhere it backs it up the con is legalized marijuana creates steep costs for society and taxpayers that far outweigh its tax revenues which doesn’t explain what those are oh increased emergency room visits Medical Care and addiction treatment for weed yeah I don’t know uh should we vote if we vote for which one we agree with more after each one yeah that makes sense which one do you believe out of those two because these are all like polarized opposites with the same numbers well and this is where I’d say they’re I don’t know you don’t think either are true yeah I was gonna say well or that they’re not either necessarily wrong you’re going to have increased costs with addiction and treatment stuff but you’re also going to have increased tax revenue so now I don’t [ __ ] know the math to know which one’s going to offset to other to know what’s a net win but they’re both true like they’re both gonna happen I hold on to the pro because I say this money is already being spent anyway we’re just missing out on the taxes well another and I didn’t again I didn’t bring this up but one of the arguments I read actually was that what happens is most people that are smoking either cigarettes or alcohol well actually if they go to marijuana you’re just taking attacks from one place and getting it somewhere else so you’re going to lose revenue from those areas I don’t think of like I could see that with going from alcohol to marijuana I don’t see yeah

[Laughter] um which one do you believe in I don’t buy the increased cost all that much I don’t think people are going to the ER a ton yeah they’re just sitting there yeah I don’t I agree yeah I think the taxes would outweigh it okay Pro 2 legalizing marijuana results in decreased teen marijuana usage according to Washington University School of Medicine when they did their study but then the con is legalizing marijuana increases use by teens with harmful results which is a different study that’s in from Colorado which one do you believe I would have believed the decreasing prior to Billy reading that study about access because that wasn’t my experience my experience was it was harder to get alcohol than marijuana right so now I don’t know which one do you believe Billy oh I I mean if I agree more I’d say with the con that the it’s going to increase usage of in adolescence hmm I honestly don’t believe the con but I don’t believe the pro either I don’t think it’s going to increase or decrease I think the people that need it are going to still use it that’s my belief all right Pro three I’ll try to paraphrase this in a simple way so in high school did you know more people that drank alcohol or more people that smoked weed more people that smoked weed totally the opposite though but you’re up here in a rural ass country area and I was down there in the middle of the city I wasn’t in the city I don’t know if that might have a difference get out here yeah it seemed pretty [  ] easy to me I don’t know everybody I hung out with smoke weed we drank from time to time I mean really the honest answer is probably both yeah we do both we did all of it like it was when I dropped out of high school after 10th grade and yeah yeah and I was in jail yeah I’m thinking of like high school parties and [  ] like that that people did it was out in cornfields too but most of that was centered around drinking more so than drugs so anyway Pro 3 traffic deaths and arrests for DUIs do not increase and may decrease when marijuana is legalized Khan 3 says traffic accidents and deaths increase when marijuana is legalized which one of those do you believe since the research says both apparently I I’m with the pro on that I would say they do not increase yeah yeah I’m with that I think if you offer weed DUIs for alcohol go down yeah I’m not sure that they’ll go down but I agree that they won’t go up yeah it says may go down I’m hopeful they’d go down yeah you would hope so I mean at least a couple people are going to switch over not everybody but a couple people a couple people are gonna be like I ain’t driving on alcohol no more because I don’t drink alcohol no more right better um Pro 4 legal marijuana is regulated for Consumer safety con for marijuana is addictive and dependence on the drug will increase with legalization I agree to both I mean I think it’s definitely better that it’s regulated and you know people know what they’re taking like I think that’s a definite healthy safety issue do we believe it’s addictive that’s an interesting question yeah yes I don’t think it’s any more addictive than anything else if you can be addicted to gambling I don’t know how you can’t be addicted to marijuana any more addictive than what else are you just comparing into other addictive substances addictive as heroin I’m saying marijuana is no more addictive than Little Debbie that’s what I’m saying little Debbies can be pretty goddamn addictive okay I mean sugar is is very addictive okay I’m not disagreeing with that but it’s also legal and we don’t question it ever so that’s my point it’s no more dangerous than any of these other things that we keep in our cabinets we’re not worried about uh our children’s [  ] Tasty Cake and and Twix use usage but to me that’s a total detriment I don’t want to go off on that tangent but yes that is that’s a [  ] detriment to our whole society our health and wellness but anyway I absolutely agree I’m just saying like we won’t have the debate about whether we’re allowed to have sugary treats in our [  ] cupboards but we’ll sit here and debate whether we’re allowed to have weed or not and that’s where I’m like uh we’re definitely changing people’s brains with all the [  ] Sugar We’re Going yeah well you said anything I was like choose sorry I mean maybe all right um Pro five legalization of marijuana is phasing out black markets and taking money away from drug cartels organized crime and Street tanks con 5 the black market and organized crime benefit from marijuana legalization I have no idea yeah I don’t know I mean just rationally I can’t imagine any way people who sell illegal things can benefit from us legalizing them I think that article was saying that they’ll undercut the prices okay and maybe they do but they were already selling stuff like that means they’re making less off each right or they move to another industry okay that’s fine and I can’t help that but it doesn’t actually do anything for them to legalize weed I don’t think that’s my take at least I just don’t know that I agree with the pro yeah that’s with where I was at too I don’t know that I agree with the Pearl see that’s interesting I don’t always actually think of what the pros saying I just think it’s not the con which you have no bias going into this uh the enforcement of marijuana prohibition this is perfect is racist because people of color are disproportionately impacted Concepts legalizing marijuana leads to more marijuana related medical emergencies one luck is a marijuana related medical emergency like literally I’ve I can’t get off the couch can you help me up I mean that’s what I think of as those calls they play online right you know somebody called 9-1-1 and they’re like I ate an edible and my car won’t start right someone stopped the time and I’m like what the [  ] I think that is I mean that’s using resources if they’re making those dumbass calls we can handle it and nothing yeah that gets back to the whole wheat with no sort of understanding of what people are taking I mean marijuana can be a hallucinogenic it is a mild hallucinogenic so if you take too much you can definitely freak out but I I don’t know to me like okay I’m the 911 dispatcher I’ve had all these [  ] traumatic calls all day that’s improving my life I’m like we can handle this that just made my [  ] day I mean that’s fair you know yeah we’re good now we’ve all connected it’s great job satisfaction and just happier people but I I would say I agree more with the pro there oh yeah I definitely that’s one of my major points of wanting to change some of these laws is that yeah our drug policy sucks it’s it’s not my major point I’m more I think my main point is just why the [  ] can’t we but but I think it’s a huge Point honestly and to agree with you here like it’s ridiculous how disproportionately and minorities are impacted by drug enforcement laws yeah but at a broad level right what about marijuana specifically because I hear that and I think yes our entire criminal justice system is set up for disadvantaged people to to I went to jail for a year for possession of marijuana yeah you’re not a minority though no I’m just I’m just saying the laws are [  ] stupid well he was yeah I was a white guy which means I got the probably the benefit of being a white male you did but you were a minority here you were a weed smoker that made you the minority you were different than them just looking at what I know of traffic stops and what happens to white people versus what happens to black people like yeah white people are getting you shouldn’t smoke that weed give me it I’m throwing it out the car you know I’m gonna stomp on it into the ground black people are getting charges and locked up like I that’s what I see happen and I can’t say I’m there every time to see that but in Cecil County I never had him throw my weed out and stomp it out I got arrested every [  ] time it’s because they were bored up here they didn’t have any black people to pick one but I definitely agree I mean the laws are systemically racist and the application of them in cities has been horrendous uh Pro 7 crime goes down when marijuana is legalized con seven marijuana use harms the brain and legalization will increase mental health problems I’m definitely on the pro with this one the argument it makes is that there’s decreased crime in the neighborhoods where dispensaries are located because of their security presence yeah I think I did read that that’s not actually what I thought I don’t yeah I don’t know that I agree with that crime goes down I’m

Colorado said that’s not true I picture crime going down more for the drugs that more crime is done for I don’t feel like people do a ton of crime to get weed money like people do crimes to get heroin and cocaine money or meth money like I just don’t see the legalizing weed is not going to stop someone from doing heroin like that’s not a good argument no but the alcohol piece if it keeps people from drinking as much and they’re incapacitated on the couch they’re not out being foolish and I think it’s just a natural byproduct of more people doing it is more people are happy in our society not even just the people doing it like again introduce you to some sad pot smokers no I need you to introduce your sad pot smokers to therapy that’s what I need you to do I want to help these I know a couple of really depressed pot smokers made me paranoid I can’t imagine I don’t believe crime goes up with legalized wheat I don’t think it goes up right I can’t imagine any possible way where it doesn’t drop by at least one [  ] eventually like at some point somebody’s gonna be a little happier whether that’s from doing it or their partner’s doing it and they just get treated better or their boss does it and they have a better work life like somebody’s going to stop committing crimes well and if you eliminate I mean if you if you group possession into crimes then it then it significantly drops right because now we we’re not Prosecuting people for the possession of marijuana hey legalizing marijuana would end the costly enforcement of marijuana laws and free up police resources or the Khan marijuana harms the health of users and people around them well I don’t give a [  ] about the health of the people who use it or the those around them honestly yeah I think and that was all about like smoke the the detrimental effects of smoking yeah well and that’s sort of the argument I feel like as long as people are educated that what they’re doing has an impact on their body and their health I’ve always hated the second hand smoke but the first one I definitely agree with it stupid I mean oh not the second hand I’m thinking of the person who smokes it themselves like you are damaging yourself issues and no no I agree with that but I’ve always hated the second-hand smoke science argument because it it doesn’t make any sense to me because we always want to say secondhand smoke is worse than first-hand smoke but the only way you can compare those two is in the same quantity and in no way nobody around me with secondhand smoke is getting as much smoke as I am it’s never going to be as bad for anybody else I just think we blew that [ __ ] way out of proportion I’m not saying I mean it’s better like I don’t really want to smell cigarettes I don’t like them but I I’ve never liked the argument for it I thought it was stupid Pro 9. marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco which are already legal canine commercialized marijuana will end a big marijuana and will create a big marijuana industry that exploits people for profit and targets children’s

I kind of agree with both of those I mean it it almost I thought about that it makes that argument that you know people that say that mats are like legalized drug dealing I mean like yeah it kinda is in a way and it’s legalizing marijuana going to create a whole industry like the you know like the alcohol industry big alcohol and the gambling casinos and that whole Big Industry that exploits people you know like yeah we’re gonna have another exploitative oh yeah I I don’t agree with the pro on this to be honest with you what was the pro again which are already legal like that that’s basically like default good yeah to do something exactly yeah that’s where my standpoint is that’s not a good reason to do it right like that’s a good reason if you’re already deciding to do it not to hold you up from doing it right but that’s not a good reason to do it but yeah we will have exploited children unfortunately we just got to live with that it’s a cost I’m willing to pay uh all right Pro 10 taxes collected from the legal sale of marijuana support important public programs content legalizing marijuana hurts businesses by causing preventable accidents and lost productivity I do think the Lost productivity is a real thing I think these are they’re stretching for [  ] reasons at this point yeah now we’re down I think all of them are stupid are really stretching but I agree I think lost productivity do you yep yeah I’m not worried about that we can all be less productive I’m tired of productivity being the measurement of our work anyway it’s [  ] dumb so I mean we you know we go through all these pros and cons they’re obviously getting down to nitpicky stuff I mean I don’t know none of them just stand out to me as being a huge deal one way or the other like I just can’t see this being so negative that we all need to fear it like I okay what if we do it in 20 years we decided it wasn’t that great and we go back like I don’t think we’ve lost a lot I don’t think some huge negative consequences taken over our society and we’re all like lost and can’t fix it like I just I don’t know it just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal yeah it doesn’t to me either I mean it seems like we should have done this long ago and even you know when I was actively using I always was painfully aware that marijuana was way less damaging to me than alcohol you know and like why is this even illegal and like say I ended up getting a criminal record and going to jail for a year over possession of marijuana and I was just like this is so [  ] dumb you know they’re taking away my freedom yeah I would agree I think I’d be telling a very different story if it was heroin but yeah I mean pot is I mean it would definitely be a different conversation if this was a drug that we look at as a harder drug or anything but I mean we’ve already seen this be legalized in quite a few States recreationally and like in general the world it’s not changed at all well I said I was I mean the biggest thing is that most of what people swore was going to happen good or bad kinda hasn’t it’s just things have rolled along and there’s been some minor you know increases in tax revenue and you know it’s people are still living their lives and nothing’s fell apart yeah yeah so [  ] it go out there vote vote the way you think makes the most sense for our society for your community and stay safe till next week [Music] did you like this episode share it with people you think might get something out of it check out the rest of our episodes at recoverysortup.com also while you’re there you can find ways to link up with us on Facebook Twitter Instagram Reddit YouTube anything we’re always looking for new ideas got an idea you want us to look into reach out to us [Music]