(And really. I do have things of my own to talk about. I’m just derailed lately.)

There’s more chatter on the intertubes about the “legalize marijuana” thing, and I’d like to address one section of it that one doesn’t see from a more lofty post (oh yeah, I just went there, you Ivory Tower people).

I work at a domestic abuse shelter, and more and more of the people I see are just – their functioning is just snapped. One moment we’re on this side of the fence, and the next they’ve gone over and are tumbling down a rocky slope that I can’t even see. They’re reported to be smoking pot, by people with an agenda, but still. I was there for the late 60’s-early 70’s, but this is crazy stuff.

And then I was at the doctor’s this week and we were joking about how maybe a little marijuana might not be so bad, and she said as long as it’s marijuana, fine. She tells me pot’s being cut with the synthetic stuff, and people are descending into psychosis on a regular basis. “People from nice, solid, middle-class families,” is how she put it.

So. Legalize the shit, and regulate it. Put a tax stamp on it and set up government-run stores (hey, it would help unemployment too). And get resources out here in the hinterlands for these people. Counselors on the streets, in the shelters. Mental health people out here in the void. (We’ve got two – count them, two – psychiatrists for a couple of counties up here.) Freaking housing, so people don’t end up crashing in somebody’s living room, and their kids watch the drinking and the smoking, and learn that there’s nothing else. Truant officers who don’t criminalize, just go out and find the kids and hand them a donut and plop them in their seat. Intervene, for crying out loud. There’s a lot of people in their 20’s-30’s that are pretty much gone, busted for a small crime and can’t get housing, or a middling crime and can’t get anything. They’re done; no education, can’t pass a background check for McD’s, nothing. Done.

Okay, I wandered off. But really, there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nobody to offer another way. Poor is a disease out here. A plague. Let’s not lose another generation. Let’s offer another way.

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