I read the recent news article concerning the legalization of recreational marijuana in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and I am extremely upset. I attended one of the listening sessions held at the Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus, and I expressed my concerns and disapproval for this legalization.
On August 5, 2017, my son passed away from an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. He passed away after fighting the disease of addiction for several years. He and several friends passed away from a disease that began with the experimentation with marijuana. Do you have any idea what it’s like to wake up to the state police at your door telling you that your son has died? Drugs took away my future, any future grandchildren, my dreams. When people say that marijuana is not addicting or a "gateway drug" and does not cause damage, they are mistaken.
My son and four friends all attended catholic school, played sports, went to church, and were raised by good families. My son was a student at Penn State, University Park, when his addiction got worse. He was a brilliant student, with a smile that could light up a room. He was a gifted public speaker, a math whiz, and was studying to be an engineer. But, the demon of addiction took hold, and eventually took his life. Addiction is an uncontrollable desire, and it does not discriminate.
Our state has had its share of problems, but to legalize a drug to increase revenue is absurd. We already have revenue from gambling and one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, yet our roads are still a mess, unemployment remains high, and our schools continue needing improvement. Do we prefer money over common values? Is there an interest by large investors to profit from growing facilities? How will laws concerning DUIs, employment, etc., be enforced? This is a “Pandora’s Box” that once opened will never be closed.
To say that I am extremely disappointed is an understatement. Not only am I a mother, but I am a registered voter. I think it’s a shame that our country has gotten away from the commonsense values for which it was founded. It’s the “dumbing down of America” and this will contribute to it.