Recreational Marijuana – and place a dispensary in Sharon Massachusetts is currently on the docket for a vote. What? This must be a Sci-Fi movie, certainly not reality. We must be living on some parallel universe where we have lost our marbles, lost our values of what is healthy and what is harmful. Lost our mental desire and capacity to research facts and know the difference between emotional statements vs. evidence based research.
Placing a recreational marijuana dispensary in a lovely town known for it’s education and a great place to raise children presents to me as potentially more of a harmful idea then a good idea. Most certainly not value-add, in my humble opinion. We as humans have become quite a self-destructive and addictive culture, unfortunately. To make a decision to vote yes on the dispensary is in essence selling what our values once were. And for what? For money for the town? That is the main argument for such a decision. Of which we will never see, and even if we did, really, is it worth it? Legalization for medical use and legalization for recreational use – where there is one there is the other, they go hand in hand. We are an over-medicated culture, and this is just but a symptom of an already existing problem. And we are going to continue to add to this problem? Fascinating….
Self expression via social media
On social media there are those commenting about voting yes for a dispensary. Sadly, those who believe a dispensary in town has the potential for more harm than good are afraid to speak up via Facebook and other forms of social media out of fear of the commentary wrath of others. Sad. Time and time again when someone makes a comment about their concern about the dispensary, for an example in it’s effects on children – that person is blasted in a rude way via social media. Yuck.
Should we as adults in a town be all about sharing our perspective in a respectful way, and provide knowledge so each person can make an informed decision? Yes. Though unfortunately that is not what is happening. As adults we want our children to communicate respectfully when there are differences of opinion, don’t we? If as adults we communicate with name calling rather than having a healthy debate of information with people in our own town, how can we expect to create peace between countries? Unfortunately I know all too well how speaking up leads others to feel they can respond with attacking the person rather than allowing for a healthy discussion. Though I shall speak up anyway.
It is my opinion that it is imperative that as a mental health professional with the largest private mental health counseling practice in the town of Sharon (I mention this to highlight that Sharon is the town the dispensary is being considered to be put up), that I speak up and not fear the nasty comments from those who disagree with my perspective. I have seen what marijuana use and overuse, addiction, abuse and dependency does to the individual and to the family. You’d think perhaps I’d want the dispensary. This will further the addiction of those who currently enjoy edibles, therefore drumming up more business for my office and the therapists who provide counseling services in my practice. Ugh, certainly I do not want that! What a horrifying thought.
I believe the dispensary is more harmful then good through my lens as a mental health professional in what I have seen over my years as a Psychotherapist and Family Therapist since 1993, and simply as a human being. Easier access by having a dispensary will increase use for those who currently use and provide use for those who do not typically use. It is a given. It is the human condition. Humans are addictive.
I am hopeful if I role model that we cannot control how others communicate, it will help others to have a voice. We must still have a voice of reason and speak up in a time where people feel that putting others down is a way to have a debate, in essence shutting the person down.
Outcome – Take the time to vote
It appears that there are many who are for the dispensary, when you read social media scrolls. If that is the case, then it is likely to be passed. Which is why many who are against it do not speak up, for not only do they not want others to call them names, they also feel it is a lost cause to express themselves, let alone take the time out to vote. Yet, that is part of the problem. If people do not take the time to vote, their voice will not be heard.
Learn more – Make an informed decision
For those who are truly interested in:
- Learning about the outcome of legalization in states like Colorado
- Understanding how Marijuana negatively effects mental health
- Learning about how Marijuana effects children, adolescents, young adults, adults
- Learning about how Marijuana can create/trigger and/or exacerbate mental disorders
- Learning the facts about marijuana addiction
- Understanding the high costs for Marijuana and drug treatment
- Understanding Marijuana’s negative effects on one’s medical health
- Learning about Marijuana’s negative effects on brain development and brain functioning
- Understanding the social consequences of marijuana use
- Learning about the negative academic effects of marijuana
- And more….
Provided below are just but a few links to articles and videos ranging in the topics mentioned above and more. If you are truly interested in learning more about the proven negative effects, there is research available. Take the time to learn more, whether these articles or others, there is much out there.