Our cannabis lawyers represent marijuana businesses in nearly all major cannabis-legal states. So admittedly, the more cannabis becomes commonplace and legal, the more clients we will get and the more we will grow and prosper. We mention this to get our bias out front and center: we favor full legalization.
But by the same token, some of our lawyers are parents or aunts or uncles, and we all think of ourselves as concerned citizens and community leaders, and that means that we also favor regulation of cannabis. But what should be regulated and how much? Among the lawyers in our firm and even among our clients, there is general agreement regarding most regulations. For instance, we have never heard anyone complain about laws that prohibit selling or marketing recreational cannabis to children. We also believe responsible, realistic, and scientifically accurate drug education is a good use for some of the tax funds generated from cannabis.
But we recently came across a fascinating cannabis issue that splits our firm (not right down the center, mind you): When in front of kids, is smoking pot any different than drinking beers? Just to be clear, not a one of us in any way supports law enforcement taking parents from their kids for smoking in front of their kids. In fact, to a person, we think that is lunacy. And none of us support charging a parent with any sort of violation for this either. In other words, even those who do not think pot should be smoked in front of kids believe this to be strictly a parental issue, not a legal one.
This exact question was recently put to a poll on The Cannabist blog (a really good cannabis blog, by the way) with the following two choices for answers:
- No, it’s no different. Cannabis and alcohol are similarly legal to those 21 and older in Colorado, Washington and soon other states and D.C. They should be treated the same.
- Yes, it’s very different. Pot and alcohol are similarly legal, yes, but marijuana is newly legal and still taboo, and it will take time for it to be accepted similarly.
The “it’s no different” vote is currently leading 1,276 votes to 436.
We asked this same question on our Facebook page, here, and we are already near 200 comments, both pro and con, with the pro-smoking in front of kids side currently winning out by at least two to one. This is obviously a controversial and divisive issue, but also an important one. So we urge you to go to this particular Facebook page to state your opinion. Please also state your opinion in the comments section below. At some point, we will compile the best ones (from both here and on our Canna Law Blog Facebook page) and summarize them in a future post.