Opinion: This stinks, but if you don’t speak up it’s going to reek

Customers look over a marijuana bud brought to be tested for its potency at White River Growpro in White River Junction, Vt., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

Customers look over a marijuana bud brought to be tested for its potency at White River Growpro in White River Junction, Vt., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018. James M. Patterson / Valley News file


Published: 04-23-2024 4:17 PM

Celeste Clark is the executive director of Raymond Coalition For Youth.

Think it’s not your issue so you don’t need to pay attention? Do you think, well I don’t use it so I really don’t care? Or, are you just plain sick of hearing about marijuana legalization and have no idea or care if it is already legal or not?

You should care, you need to care, and you should speak up, because this is something that will literally impact the entire state we live in and the smell will linger into the future.

Why? Because the small number of people who want to bring more marijuana into our state do speak up. Their voices are loud and constant. They have the media spotlight and the attention of our print and TV news reporters as well as the governor. They have time on their hands to keep up the fight and a money-backed marijuana industry that wants into New Hampshire to make money off of an addiction-for-profit business model. These pro-marijuana people, or cannabis as they prefer we call it, are telling our state lawmakers that everyone in New Hampshire wants marijuana legalized.

How about you? Do you want increased access to pot shops and their many varieties of high THC marijuana products? Do you want increased emergency room wait times? Are you concerned about increased child and pet poisonings? Do you want increased automobile insurance rates because car crashes will go up in our state? How about the smell that comes with marijuana use?

Do these things sound pleasant or like something we should want more of? If the people of New Hampshire who think this doesn’t impact them don’t speak up no one will know. Our lawmakers who only hear from the high-paid lobbyists will think this is what you want. Do you?

New Hampshire may be the only New England state that has not legalized marijuana but we are also the only state that has pushed back on legalization because all of the things listed above do not sound like great tourist attractions or ways to encourage people to live here. In fact, it is the reason many of us do live here, to avoid the nightmares of other states that have made this mistake.

People are leaving other New England states to call New Hampshire home. Has anyone asked them if they are coming here because they don’t want to live in a state that has legalized marijuana?

Find a friend, neighbor or colleague who has lived in or visited Colorado, Washington State, or California how they feel about marijuana. Their answer is not surprising, they are disgusted by it. The overall quality of life for everyone has been impacted in states that have made this mistake and legalized it. Make no mistake, the legalization of marijuana is everyone’s issue to be concerned about.

Think about this. Do you enjoy the fresh air that we live and breathe each day in our beautiful state of New Hampshire? Well, not everyone does all of the time. Ask someone living in a community space building, like an apartment complex, condo association, or over-55 living community. If someone in one of those units uses therapeutic cannabis or their own personal marijuana products, the smell impacts every unit around them. It seeps out into the hallways, the stairs, the elevator and into individual units. If you have never used marijuana or been around it the smell is compared to that of a skunk that has sprayed or been run over by a car. It can be very strong and pungent.

Your voice is powerful and it can make a difference. Tell your state senators (gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/members) that you do not want all of the risks and public health issues that come with increased access to marijuana. Speak up for the health and well-being of you and your family, but also for the children who don’t have a voice or an adult speaking up for them. You are an adult whose voice can make a difference.