Editorial: Marijuana legalization battle?

Now that the election is over, the next big battle in Oklahoma will be the legalization of marijuana.

Proponents will try to convince the public that the issue is legalization of “medical marijuana” but the core issue is recreational usage.

Some people want to smoke pot without fear of legal consequence.

Marinol, a marijuana pill, is available with a doctor’s prescription. New drugs made from marijuana plant extracts are undergoing clinical trials.

Marijuana is harmful and has adverse social impact. In states like Colorado where it’s legal, children are neglected. Marijuana-related car accidents have increased and kids are overdosing on marijuana-laced cookies. Marijuana causes permanent loss of IQ, permanent memory loss, brain damage and birth defects in children. It is psychologically addictive and it is a gateway to addiction to stronger drugs.

Legalizing medical marijuana opens the floodgate to abuse. Schools and employers will have no choice but to allow it. Parents won’t be able to keep it from their children.

In terms of medical benefit, marijuana should be treated like the poppy plant, the source of morphine and codeine. Extract good elements, test them for safety and then have them prescribed by a doctor and distributed through a pharmacy.

The dirty little secret about the drive to legalize marijuana is that some groups see a profit windfall from legalization. Some liberals want to legalize it to tax it but the tax benefits are never enough to cover the cost in illness, broken families and lost careers.

You can’t smoke, drink or gamble your way to prosperity.

The marijuana battle is upon Oklahoma. It’s time to say no.