There is truly nothing new under the sun. And yet across the United States we are observing a discernable, well-coordinated push from political and criminal organizations to legalize marijuana.
The method is well planned and organized. The general underhanded playbook is geared to first legislate medical marijuana dispensaries by establishing an “open door” through county resolutions. It is nothing more than a deceitful “Trojan horse” that rides freely into an unsuspecting American community.
From there, activist groups spread this message to state capitols once public perception has been manipulated with pro-marijuana advocates and skewed public polling. And as history has shown us in Colorado and California, the final victory comes three to five years later as marijuana is officially legalized for recreational use. Make no mistake about it folks. That is their goal. And that is the prize.
As a member of the Marathon County Board and retired law enforcement agent, I have seen firsthand the devastation wrought by marijuana and narcotic use. One cannot compare the use of alcohol and marijuana equally. Both are destructive, yet marijuana, due to its high THC mind-altering chemical components can remain in the body for days and weeks after a single use. And it is well known that marijuana radically reshapes a young person’s developing mind, ambition and creative process.
In various studies, we have now understood that the county of Los Angeles was force fed the same utopian dream. They were promised that legalized marijuana would bring in millions of dollars of additional tax revenue to the county and state. The end result has not been so rosy a picture. With initial marijuana dispensaries springing up on street corners, they observed a spike in armed robberies of marijuana dispensaries and a rise in prostitution and residential burglaries. The consequences did not stop there. As a result of the marijuana use, they observed a huge spike in the high school dropout and truancy rates and a large homeless transient problem associated with the marijuana use. The pro-marijuana advocates will sadly trot out their success stories while ignoring the community dangers. And there will be a great consequence to Wisconsin if marijuana is legalized.
It is a sad state of affairs to watch local, state and national leaders compromise and shrink back from their leadership roles. Many of our leaders refuse to take a stand on the political side of the issue due to the “enticing carrot” held over their heads with the promise of millions of dollars of tax revenue. With so many marathon county jail inmates and crimes associated with our opioid crisis, one does not need a crystal ball to predict that the train will eventually veer off the tracks.
With the legalization of marijuana, we will see additional crimes and jail overcrowding in an already maxed out criminal justice system. Why on earth would we risk our youths’ future for the sake of enhanced tax revenue? Why would we vote for a substance that robs our youth of creativity, their drive to excel and steals their ambition when it is most needed when shaping their futures as adults. And with the mind-altering characteristics that marijuana displays, why would Marathon County supervisors pass any resolutions that would lend a helping hand to this intended path of legalization?
The more we sift through the truth and deception, we realize that we have seen this movie before. It is an age-old battle of “right verses wrong” and it’s all about common sense. And from within Marathon County and with our legislators in Madison, we will soon have a choice. It is truly a battle for the heart and souls of our youth, our community and for our Wisconsin families. It is about the next generation of American society and it’s all about our future.
Shawn Black is a 20-year military and law enforcement veteran. He has served as a U.S. government advisor and is a member of the Marathon County Board, representing the village of Weston.
Editor’s note: The views of our readers are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot and Review. To submit a letter, email email@example.com or mail to P.O. Box 532, Wausau, Wis., 54402-0532. Letters of any length are welcome and must include your name, city, and contact information for verification. Anonymous letters are not published.
Photos courtesy Shawn Black.