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Fighting the “Mainstreaming” of Marijuana

At one time, the appearance of a joint in a movie meant there was a bad guy on the screen, or an arrest was about to happen. But the trend is to see marijuana use as both safe and normal. The Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention (CCSAP) hopes to change this trend.

A spokesperson for the group recently published an opinion in the Sun Journal, encouraging North Carolinians to stand fast in their rejection of marijuana legalization, either for medical use or for recreation.

The writer, Shirin Scotten, makes some strong points about how medical marijuana is being leveraged into full legalization. This despite the way we treat other drugs used in the treatment of illnesses. Even a blood pressure medication cannot be purchased without a prescription, and no one is recommending patients grow their own poppies to manufacture narcotics.

Shirin also responds to the argument that legalizing and taxing will provide a net gain in revenue.

” If you look at the other socially used drugs, alcohol and tobacco, evidence shows otherwise. The cost of alcohol use and abuse, including lost productivity, health, and related crime, is $235 billion. Federal and state alcohol taxes raise only $14.5 billion — 6 percent of the cost. For tobacco, federal and state taxes raise $25 billion – 13 percent of $193 billion tobacco-related costs on society. “

CCSAP is a group that spans five counties in North Carolina. They are partially funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and have worked on various community projects, including the dedication of a “drug lock-box” at the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Department. These boxes are used so that citizens can turn in prescription drugs they no longer need – either because the drug is expired, change to a different drug, or the condition has resolved. Disposing of old prescription drugs is important to remove them as a temptation for young people who wish to experiment.

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