You might have seen the recent news release concerning the states that have legalized the sale of marijuana. According to the blurb that I saw, statistics show that traffic fatalities have now doubled in these states since these new laws have been enacted. But I feel sure that this really surprises no one. I am also confident that as time goes by we will hear of many other costs to these states that will be linked to use of marijuana.
It reminded me of the article I read a few years ago that pointed out the high costs to states where there is legalized gambling. Some of the areas of note included the increase in crime, especially theft, which necessitated the hiring of additional law enforcement personnel. There is also the loss to businesses because of high absenteeism of workers as well as suffering from a high rate of unpaid bills. Additionally, families suffer from bankruptcy due to gambling addiction, not to mention the high rate of divorce related to gambling problems. And these are just a sampling of the cost of gambling. But why are we not surprised?
How about alcohol? Reliable surveys have concluded that drunk driving costs the United States a whopping $132 billion per year. Further, about one out of three of all traffic deaths is alcohol related. We could also include some of the same problems that we listed above concerning businesses and family that are also created by the use of alcohol. But I doubt this surprises anyone either.
With all the problems associated with these three things (and others could be mentioned), one would have to step back and ask, “How did states ever get duped into legalizing them?” Well, for those of us who have been around for a while, we remember the sales pitch going something like this: “Some people are going drink, gamble, smoke pot, etc. anyway, so we might as well legalize them so that they can be better controlled. Further, they can be taxed and the tax money will amply fund good causes like the education of our children.” So, how is that going?
Oh, I am aware that there are some medical benefits to marijuana as well as alcohol- - but you and I both know that is not the problem. The problem is that sin costs- - but never pays! But again, who is surprised by that? (Genesis - Revelation).