In some states, marijuana is illegal. In others, it’s legal for medical purposes. And still in others, it is even legal for recreational use.
Recreational pot has been legal in Oregon now for a year, but it was a long time coming. Voters approved medicinal pot 20 years ago. Arizona is voting on it this fall – along with California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. It was only six years ago that Arizona approved marijuana for medicinal use.
The Arizona measure is making some voters nervous. A group that includes two county attorneys even sued, unsuccessfully, to get it off the ballot.
Then there’s 59-year-old Debbie Moak, who lives outside of Phoenix. She put her son in drug rehab when he was 20.
“A lot of these kids who are going to be impacted the most by this, they won’t be voting in this election,” she says. “This is where we need to be the adult in the room and protect the kids.”
Moak says pot led her kid to use harder drugs. Cocaine became his drug of choice. He dropped out of college and eventually becoming homeless.
“It tears a family apart,” she says. “Addiction becomes a disease of the family, and I’ve lived it, in the trenches. And I don’t want to see this happen for any other family.”
But Moak used to see that pretty much daily, back when she ran a nonprofit called Not My Kid that worked to keep young people off drugs. For nearly two decades, she spoke to parents in pain because they were unable to reach their children who were sinking deeper into drug dependency.
She opposed the approval of medical marijuana because she feared it would lead to more acceptance of the substance she views as tremendously harmful.
Coming at this from a completely different direction is 60-year-old food editor Martha …