If you want a docile, complacent population more likely to put up with growing societal ills and less likely to hold those in power to account, while also becoming more dependent upon them, you could hardly do better than to encourage more pot smoking and gambling.

Presumably increased complacency and dependency are not the state government’s actual goals in its push to legalize recreational marijuana and mobile sports betting. Increasing tax revenue to cover everything from essential services to outrageous public pensions and wasteful boondoggles is the driving force. New York is in deep trouble — it was long before the coronavirus delivered what feels like a knockout punch — and the powers that be would much rather fund both needed services and their ongoing follies than to rein in spending in any significant way.

At least they’re not running around shouting “Weed for Rails!” and claiming marijuana taxes would save the MTA like they did two years ago when this idea came up.

But the effect is harmful. Look, you don’t have to be an old buzz kill to know that marijuana damages the mind. What do you think is happening when you feel that euphoria, not to mention the confusion and spaciness? Duh. Data show that when you legalize weed, people use it more, including younger people whose minds are most affected by it. The effect on driving is a big concern: One study in Colorado found that marijuana-related traffic deaths jumped 151 percent after legalization, while overall traffic deaths went up 35 percent. Police do not have the ability to tell if someone is driving high the way they do if someone is driving drunk. The chemistry is cloudier.

And just as people can get addicted to drugs such as marijuana, they can get addicted to other problematic behavior like gambling. Mobile sports betting would make that all the more likely as people are so dependent upon their phones now. Although more research needs to be done, one study showed that people who gambled via mobile device as little as once a month were 13 times more likely than others to be at risk of problem gambling.

Not everyone who smokes marijuana or bets on a game online will develop a problem. But enough will so that our government should not be encouraging such behavior. Money isn’t everything, and the state shouldn’t address its shortfall in revenue by promoting vices. Let’s leave the laws on marijuana and sports gambling as they are.

(1) comment

stan chaz

Get real Queens Chronicle.

You say that “If you want a docile, complacent population more likely to put up with growing societal ills and less likely to hold those in power to account .... you could hardly do better than to encourage more pot smoking." On the contrary the wild hyped-up Maga Mobs that ransacked the Capital last week MOST DEFINITELY could have used being calmed down with the tranquility-inducing effects of pot, especially in these stress-inducing Covid times.

All of your criticisms are old arguments that are either contested, irrelevant, a throw-back to nanny-state Puritanism --or simply areas of concern where solutions are can be found and implemented.

Personally I‘m all for for maximizing people’s freedom & life choices, as long as you don’t impede others from doing the same, or harm others in the process. Of course some people’s definition of “harm” is other people’s definition of charm, while other people’s definition of harm is ridiculously expansive; which is not to say that there at may be not be less visible social costs & consequences are sometimes ignored or unseen, and which can and should be dealt ,with while STILL maximizing freedom and personal choice.

Having said that, Governor Cuomo push for marijuana legalization got me thinking about alternatives to pot smoking in the time of Covid. Pot obviously comes in various forms, including edibles. But I am wondering if virologists have ever done any legitimate Covid-19 studies to see if being in the vicinity of a smoker, whether it be tobacco or pot, increases virus transmission via the combination of both viral and smoke particles being exhaled by the smoker Is virus transmission perhaps enhanced? Just walk by any puffing smoker and you know what I mean. Of course simply having your mask off while you’re smoking in the vicinity of others by itself definitely makes virus transmission (or self-infection) more likely, if you or others around you are infected. But perhaps the combination of exhaled smoke particles and virus particles wafting thru the air together, perhaps hitching a ride on one another, make it even worse? Since there still are many smokers (of all kinds) out there it would be prudent to check this out further as the pandemic rages in the coming months. Not to mention the fact that pot smokers, tend to inhale much more deeply than others and in turn subject themselves to being more susceptible to virus particles already in the air, by breathing them deep into their lungs. Not good in a pandemic! Smoking either pot or tobacco, may be an unsafe two-way viral street, both increasing viral transmission as well as self-infection. In fighting the good fight against the virus we don’t want to engage in “friendly fire” that undermines our efforts —by encouraging even more smoking/toking. So my advice is this: Stay safer and IF you want a stress-relieving alternative to your parent’s legal martinis then just just stick to eating your (marijuana) edibles, children, and your veggies. I would especially recomment that to those frenzied Maga Mobs literally trying to tear down the pillars of our democracy….

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