To listen to some of the proponents of marijuana, you could almost believe that its use is actually good for children; enhances the mental capacity of users; and makes you healthy, wealthy and wise.
Alas, the facts tell us just the opposite. Just check out the facts at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana.
The increase in the homeless population is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to negative results from increased use and access to marijuana. Many homeless have been drawn to the area by the continued promotion of marijuana and other drug use.
When my neighbors take walks, they are sick and tired of picking up discarded needles in their once lovely neighborhoods. They are tired of their children having to walk the gantlet just to get to their school bus.
Like many others, my family experienced the heartache caused by marijuana and other drugs when my 13-year-old nephew and his friends thought it would be cool to start smoking this gateway drug they liked to call “whacky backy.” Unfortunately, his life ended when he was 19 years old from a drug overdose.
I will never apologize for my efforts to keep drugs out of our communities and away from vulnerable children. It is a priority for me and always will be.
The majority of cities in Pierce County decided through their elected city councils to ban the promotion of marijuana within their city limits. What this does is effectively push the growing, processing and retail sales into the unincorporated areas of Pierce County.
The questions are, “Who is representing the citizens who live in the unincorporated areas? Who should be looking out for them and protecting the interests of their families and children?”
The members of the Pierce County Council should be looking out for them. Instead, four members, who all live in cities, have agreed to push the marijuana problem out into the county, abdicating their responsibility to represent the citizens of unincorporated Pierce County. This is not right.
The proposition on the April 26 ballot will ask voters who live in the unincorporated areas of the county what they think. Are they willing to take the heavy burden and damage done by the proponents of marijuana use? Are they willing to sacrifice their neighborhoods, schools and children to take part in this experiment?
The News Tribune editorial board said that the County Council should ignore the results of the vote (editorial, 4-3). Shame on them. In order to truly represent the people who live in the unincorporated areas of Pierce County, the council needs to heed the voice of the people.
After all, it’s their communities, their neighborhoods, and their quality of life that is at stake.
Joyce McDonald of Puyallup, a former state representative, represents District 2 on the Pierce County Council.