Now that marijuana has been legalized in Oregon, and even more recently can be sold in a retail setting, it has become a hot topic of conversation everywhere. On one hand I think that's great. We should be talking about it. We should talk about its risks, its benefits, appropriate times to use it, legal age, and all the other important boundaries we would talk about with any other controlled substance like tobacco or alcohol.
The problem I am having is the media sensationalizing any and every negative experience that has happened here that may or may not involve marijuana. For one thing, it gives the impression hat it only happened because marijuana was legalized, and for another it gives the impression that whatever the outcome was marijuana was the one and only cause. Neither of these is always true.
For example there is this recent tragic event. Notice how the headline boldly claims the driver allegedly was smoking pot. Notice how they slipped in there that the accident comes just 5 days after retail sales of recreational marijuana is legal. And also notice that all the way at the bottom they finally say that the driver was smoking "seconds" before the crash.
Don't get me wrong, I do not in any way shape or form condone any type of driving while under the influence. However, for the sake of playing devil's advocate, let's say that this moron took his very first hit just seconds before the crash. He would not have been high at that point, it takes a little time to get to that point. Could he have been distracted? Probably, but high? Most likely not.
Also, the fact that retail sales just started has absolutely nothing to do with this story. If the media and authorities think that just because it is legal it is all of a sudden easier to get your hands on marijuana then they are really delusional. This area has to be one of the easiest to buy marijuana, even before it was legal. I can think of about 5 people off of the top of my head I could go to and say hey, I want to get high, and they would gladly oblige. This same tragic accident could have easily taken place last year, the year before, or even 4 years ago for that matter. Making it legal doesn't make people smarter. It just makes it so those who choose not to break the law can enjoy what is known to be a relatively safe drug when used in moderation like everything else.
So the next time you see a news article that makes you angry about a hot topic issue stop and ask yourself, is this just a matter of perspective?