Not knowing is a scary place to be

I didn’t realize a law could pass and still be con­fusing even to law enforcement until I read the recreational marijuana ballot proposal. My head was spinning just writing this month’s cover story. It’s legal yet, ambiguous; no one is certain exactly how to interpret or enforce it. At least that is what I discovered in my inter­views. It is scary because you are dealing with a substance that can alter brain development and cognitive function.

There are the supporters and non-supporters of the law. We attempted to cover as many angles to the story as possible. We looked at it from a le­gal perspective, religious perspective, community perspective and business perspective as the law impacts various people and organizations. We wanted to under­stand – now that it is legal – what does it mean?

After all my interviews, I ended up with a 5,000-word article which was ultimately edited down but is still quite long; I assure you it’s worth the read. If nothing else, I discovered that all of us in some way or another could be affected by recreational marijuana becoming legal.

As a mother and an aunt, I am most concerned about the youth and the long-term effects on them if they use it while their brains are still developing.

I am a supporter of medical marijuana. I do believe there are valid applications and positive results but I also support scientific research of it and proper administration of the substance. After all, it is a drug whether it is derived from nature or not.

Just like it took about 10 years to tweak the medical marijuana laws, it may take the same time or even longer to solidify recreational marijuana. There are still many unknowns at this point.

We don’t know what we don’t know. That is a scary place to be.

I get the issues raised by law enforcement, health professionals and educators. They are valid and should be addressed.

There are many uncertainties in life. When something is out of your control, you have to take a leap of faith in God that all will turn out okay or even better than you hoped.

However, it’s frustrating to know that there could have been some kind of control over this law but our leaders failed to do the right thing or that is what appears happened in Lansing. The legislature didn’t take on the marijuana issue and instead they let the peo­ple decide and now we ended up with a confusing law.

We don’t know what we don’t know. As time passes, I can only surmise things will come up regarding mari­juana that have to be addressed after the fact. We will be scratching our heads saying, “Oh, we didn’t know!”

Obviously, marijuana is not the only story worth tell­ing this month but it an important one. No doubt each of us know someone with a grow house or dispensary. I am near certain that this will be a topic of discussion in our community for years to come.

What does this new law really mean? We don’t really know. How will it affect our families? We don’t know. What will the long-term consequences be? We don’t know.

And what we don’t know, could harm us. It truly is a scary place to be.