The legalization of marijuana has put addiction problems in the spotlight in recent times. Colorado is just one state that has legalized the possession of small amounts of the drug. It’s a controversial issue since many believe that marijuana should be treated similar to alcohol. There are restrictions placed on its use but it’s not an illegal substance.
Moyers doesn’t believe that alcohol use should be, what he refers to as, “legitimized” either. I can’t imagine that he thinks we should return to the days of prohibition. Still, he makes a very good point that the misuse of alcohol is a major issue that often leads to addiction and the misuse of marijuana is likely to lead to similar unwanted consequences.
William Moyers Isn’t a Stranger to Addiction Problems
“I think the voters of Colorado have made a terrible mistake,” he says of the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana. “I think their intention was good, to want to stop the war on drugs, but legalizing a mood- and mind-altering substance exposes the populace to the same risks that alcohol has wrought. It’s legitimizing a drug in the same way that alcohol has been legitimized. We’ve never embraced a set of policies that adequately address the misuse of alcohol.”
The son of journalist Bill Moyers, he was addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol until the age of 35. He has been clean and sober for 18 years and three months, and is now vice president of public affairs at Hazelden, the Minnesota-based treatment center.
The original article that referenced Moyers views about marijuana has been removed from the Denver Post web site. There is an article that makes his viewpoint even more clear. It can be found here. Read Denver Post article
It’s pretty clear that the current approach and the war on drugs has not eliminated, or even curbed, addiction problems. So, whether possessing or using marijuana (alcohol or any other addictive substance) should be legal doesn’t appear to be the right question to ask. Rather, I would propose that the real question is – how can we better educate people about addiction problems so that they understand how easy it is to become addicted…and how hard it is to stop once you are?
Moyers certainly speaks from experience. He suffered the consequences of addiction for many years. And, his problems extended to his family as well. As anyone in a similar situation knows, if someone in the family is dealing with addiction…you’re all dealing with it.
So, what do you think? Is the war on drugs working? Should marijuana be legal? How can we better educate people about addiction problems? Please comment, like and share to further the discussion.