James Lambert
December 30, 2012
Pot legalization: bad news for families in Colorado & Washington
By James Lambert

It's a sad day when the official platform of a major political party (the Democrat Party of Colorado) openly endorses the legalization of recreational marijuana in their state. The Democrat Party was the first major state party in the country to do so this year, despite efforts of several underfunded opponents (in Colorado and Washington) to defeat these bad initiatives.

Despite the unfortunate loss at the polls in these two states, we should be proud of the efforts of organizations like the American Family Association for sending out over 82,000 emails to people throughout these three states in an attempt to dissuade people to vote for these initiatives (to legalize pot).

Nevertheless, in last month's election, the majority of the voting public in Colorado (and also in Washington) approved the legalization of recreational pot. (The voters in Oregon did not). Opposition to this effort was much more organized in Oregon. Opponents of the initiative in Oregon did a good job in communicating their message of opposing legalization of pot. Even the liberal newspaper, the Oregonian, editorialized against legalizing the substance.

In Colorado Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper seemed giddy when he recently signed into law Amendment 64 which now makes recreational pot legal in his state. Colorado's law tells us that adults over the age of 21 can now freely use the substance "but not in public." Already, that "public" provision is being challenged openly by users in Denver. Pot smokers by the dozens have been filmed 'lighting up' on state grounds all around the state Capital. It will be interesting to see if Colorado police will uphold this provision of the new law.

Still far too many people (including notable church leaders and ministry spokes-men in Colorado) simply would not take a stand on the issue (of recreational pot

legalization). During the 2010 election I remembered conferring with over 60 church leaders regarding California's attempt to legalize recreational pot during that election cycle. I was a spokesman for www.MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com . Approximately a third of the church leaders I spoke to refused to take a stand against the California initiative (Prop 19). Fortunately, we stopped the marijuana advocates (such as Peter Lewis — CEO of Progressive Insurance) that year (2010), thanks in large part to the support of the California Chamber of Commerce and voter support (to defeat the initiative — Prop. 19) that surprisingly came, in large part, from the Latino and African-American communities in Southern California.

Yet this year the outcome was much different in Colorado and Washington. Un-fortunately for families throughout the states of Colorado and Washington, the legalization of recreational pot will have negative consequences in their states. For Colorado and Washington residents, it seems inevitable that we'll see an increase in their state's public health costs, decreased academic performance, decreased productivity among the workforce and increased traffic accidents. But perhaps the most notable change will be the noticeable increase of pot use among teenagers and young people.

Over twenty years ago, citizens in state of Alaska saw the damaging effects of legalizing this substance when state legislators did it in the 1980s). Overnight, teen use of pot almost tripled. Wisely, Alaskan state legislators overturned (pot) legalization in their state in 1990.

Even today we see what regular pot use is doing to too many high schools students throughout the country. Regular marijuana use has increased from 15 to 17 million Americans in just the last 4 years. Fortunately as a Christian, I believe we have a personal solution to negative issues like these, including substance abuse like marijuana, alcohol and even hard drugs!

Please join me in providing a positive response to substance abuse of all kinds. If you know a pastor in your area, I would like to be considered to speak before their church and offer my new book for sale. In the book, 16 Amazing Stories of Divine Intervention ( www.16AmazingStories.com ), there are testimonies of at least five people who, with God's help, overcame substance abuse. Proceeds of the book will go to my ministry of reaching out to high school kids with the good news of Christ. You can contact me at jll4@adelphia.net or call me at 1-800-656-8603. Also, for more information on the damaging consequences of using recreational marijuana please go to www.MarijuanaHarmsFamilies.com or give me a call.

© James Lambert


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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James Lambert

James Lambert has a broad business background. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Linfield College (McMinnville, Oregon), Lambert pursued a career in banking by working in various management capacities for Crocker Bank, San Diego Trust & Savings Bank and First Interstate Bank (between 1973 and 1995). By 1990 Lambert received his Master in Business Administration from National University (San Diego). For 3 years, Lambert also taught Finance at Mira Costa Community College... (more)


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