The sky isn't falling

By VALERIE VANDE PANNE  |  March 12, 2014

“But it is hard to see how encouraging a vast new industry promoting the use of another potentially dangerous drug, on top of cigarettes and alcohol, would greatly benefit society,” the editorial says.

ProJo editorial board, here’s a shocker for you: there already is a marijuana industry. In fact, it’s flourishing in Rhode Island, and it’s been the number one cash crop in states like Kentucky and New York, where it’s still illegal. This isn’t a “new” industry; people have been using and selling marijuana for decades. This is about bringing an industry from the shadows to the light for the sake of consumer protection and public health. You wouldn’t buy your alcohol from the black market. Why is it OK to force people to buy a plant that way? If you’re truly in support of healthy economic environment and business growth in Rhode Island, you would see how legitimizing and regulating an already existing industry creates jobs — no more farming the pot trade out to other states. And, yes, it raises money via tax revenues that can be directed toward any number of civic uses: schools, road maintenance, fostering other small business development, etc.

ProJo, there used to be this idea that journalists and editors had the public’s best interest in mind. That respect has waned, in part, because of this “fair and balanced” reporting idea championed by some who think that by regurgitating the fears of the few balances out — or even outweighs — common sense and decades of anecdotal and scientific evidence to the contrary.

The sky didn’t fall when Colorado legalized pot, just like it didn’t fall for the thousands of years people used marijuana before prohibition.

Got a burning question? or tweet it @asktheduchess.

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