Letter to the Editor: Pandora’s Box

I am responding to the Village of Egg Harbor’s spring ballot non-binding referendum legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. I am a “newcomer” to Door County, moving here two-and-a-half years ago from the western slope of Colorado. Pot was legalized there first for medical, then recreational use. Egg Harbor – be careful how you plan for the future.

I personally have nothing against medical marijuana, and even voted to legalize it in Colorado, knowing the benefits to cancer patients, etc. The “social” side effects are numerous, however, especially in small areas. After it becomes legal, it has to be addressed how to package edibles (cookies, candies), so children don’t get into them. It has to be established where businesses can grow their supply (how close to residential areas) how police can monitor “high” drivers, how close to schools and daycare centers these shops can build, and how many shops is enough for one town? In the small town of 1,500 that I lived in, there were three shops. In another town nearby, pot shops were more numerous and some just a few blocks from the grade school and the kids passed by them on their walking route. Ordinances have to be put into place for people smoking in public areas, and how many feet can they smoke in front of bars and restaurants, beaches, etc.

I quickly found there was really no such thing as “medical marijuana.” Signs on the shop doors would let customers know between what hours  a mobile doctor would be available to see them to give them a legal pot card. A sore knee? “No problem – come in between 2 and 5 pm and we can get you registered.” I heard school kids talking about their parents smoking pot at home. Some kids came to school high after getting into their parents’ stash. I feel it also gives the message that drugs are an acceptable form of recreation.

Be careful, Egg Harbor, and all of Door County, if you decide to open Pandora’s Box!

Mary Blichmann

Sister Bay, Wis.