UpInSmokeAs a former cop (Miami, Florida and in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I was a homicide detective), I have personal experience in the streets involving drug addicts and dopers. I have had it up to my high-water mark on society’s efforts to champion and legalize marijuana and other dangerous drugs. We should consider a few facts about pot. First of all, it is not a victimless crime.

Government itself becomes the de facto drug dealer and victimizes users since it stands to rake in a lot of profit from dealing in grass. Taxes on the budding cannabis industry will claim as much as half of the take; and the users go straight down the tube to addiction and misery while encouraging others to go along. What are you smoking if you believe flooding cities with potheads will not increase crime and corruption? There’s a reason why marijuana is referred to as “wacky weed.” Do you really think people who go about hallucinating are going to become good citizens and work to support their habits?

“There’s no question at all that marijuana is addictive,” declared the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She provided the example of an 18-year-old female who “started smoking several times a day in tenth grade. She dropped out of high school, was fired from several jobs, stole money…”

A King’s College study found that individuals who smoke high potency marijuana are five times more likely to develop mental illnesses than non-smokers.

According to the American Psychological Association, heavy use of weed drops the user’s IQ an average of six points, about the same as from lead poisoning.

After pot’s legalization in Colorado, marijuana use by 12-17 year-olds and those of college age rose sharply, accompanied by a 25 percent increase in traffic fatalities and other emergency room conditions associated with toking up. The crime rate also began a marked rise in all categories, up to murder.

Contrary to the image of potheads as peaceful stoners, cannabis-dependent psychiatric patients are four times as likely to be violent, which includes marijuana-induced homicide.

According to a Manhattan Institute study, 70 percent of those who commit homicide are involved in the drug trade and have prior drug and other convictions.

A Rand Corporation study concluded that, due to widespread championing of marijuana, more than half of kids between ages 10-12 believe pot is not dangerous and causes no harmful effects.

“Marijuana is a hallucinogenic drug,” social commentator Ben Stein noted; he is also a volunteer in alcohol-drug recovery programs. “It makes you feel lazy, drained of ambition, disorganized, unable to create and to focus one’s attention. It’s a guaranteed way to take a kid with drive and aspiration and make him into a vegetable. Like Invasion of The Body Snatchers, when someone starts using dope regularly, whatever (is) in that person of discipline, drive, ethnical values simply vanish. The body is still there, but the brain and spirit are gone.”

If these are the values we cherish and the future we desire, then, by all means, toke up, mellow out, and let the good times roll up in smoke.

Charles W. Sasser is author of over 60 books and thousands of magazine articles. To learn more about the drug craze, his latest book, CRUSHING THE COLLECTIVE takes a raw look at what is happening in this area—and in all other areas of modern society.