82.5 F
Mobile
72.9 F
Huntsville
78.1 F
Birmingham
52.8 F
Montgomery

Yaffee: It’s time Alabama cracked down on marijuana use in public

Earlier this month, Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch announced ‘Operation Up in Smoke,’ to enforce penalties against people who are using marijuana in public.

Not only is Sheriff Burch correct in wanting to nip this problem in the bud in Mobile, but this is something law enforcement around the state should copy and implement.

“The open use of marijuana has become common in several public areas throughout Mobile County,” Sheriff Paul Burch said. “We witnessed this during Mardi Gras and see it at grocery stores and all major shopping centers.”

There is no doubt that people feel more emboldened to smoke weed in public as many states and cities around the country have decriminalized it in some way.

It’s time to fight back against this trend. If you smoke marijuana in public you’re harming the people around you. Our family friendly communities shouldn’t have to put up with that, especially since the drug is still illegal in Alabama.

Burch is 100% right in saying, “This operation is about the public outcry of others who do not wish to participate or expose their families to illegal drugs. Marijuana is not legal anywhere in the state of Alabama and has not been legalized Federally. This purposeful disregard for obeying the law will not be tolerated in Mobile County.”

Unfortunately instead of supporting law enforcement in this effort, some leaders want to take the opposite approach and completely decriminalize the drug. This would be a disaster for our state.

The facts are that recreational marijuana use is not good for individuals, it’s not good for children, and it’s really not good for the civil society.

A recent study showed it’s not good for an individual’s health as it can raise the risk for heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

Marijuana use is especially bad for young people as multiple studies show it can lead to lifelong mental health problems, and many cities have seen recent spikes in children being sent to the ER with cannabis poisoning.

Areas that have legalized marijuana have also seen an increase in traffic deaths.

These studies are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the problems created by increase marijuana use in a society. Legalizing does absolutely no good for communities.

Gov. Glenn Younkin of Virginia gets it. He recently vetoed bills that would have set up a marijuana retail market in his state.

Retail marijuana legalization, he wrote, “endangers Virginians’ health and safety. States following this path have seen adverse effects on children’s and adolescent’s health and safety, increased gang activity and violent crime, significant deterioration in mental health, decreased road safety, and significant costs associated with retail marijuana that far exceed tax revenue. It also does not eliminate the illegal black-market sale of cannabis, nor guarantee product safety.”

Even though marijuana might not be as damaging as some other drugs, it’s still a substance that negatively affects your judgement. Does anyone actually believe getting high makes you healthier, wiser, or a better person? Of course not.

I truly believe our country will regret the growing obsession we’ve seen in recent years with this drug. Many who push for decriminalization have not been honest about the negative affects it will have on individuals and society. There also have been no discernable positives to allowing it. Legalization efforts have not stopped the drug cartels from gaining more power, they have not stopped people from overdosing off harder drugs, and they have not helped create a more productive workforce.

Thank God recreational marijuana is still illegal in Alabama. Let’s make sure the laws are enforced so we can have cleaner, safer, healthier communities.

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

Don’t miss out!  Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.