Assets in Action: Let your voice be heard, before it is too late

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

As an actual Certified Prevention Specialist in the State of New Mexico, I would never tell anyone what to think or how to vote. I would, however, say that you shouldn’t be allowed to vote on something drug related unless you do your homework.

If you are in a position to have an intern, a student, or a volunteer have them research the history of the drug. If other state’s have legalized it, someone should spend a considerable amount of time seeing how decisions have affected their community, and in what ways.

Recently, I have seen how the news is calling the legalization of marijuana in California as, “California is going green.”

As a speech communication major, the media literacy aspect is astounding to me. “Going Green,” has an all-natural, healthy connotation to it. I am curious, however, if the going green is all about the financial aspect of legalization?

Remember we elect officials to be our voice, but it may soon be imperative to let your voice be heard on this issue. If New Mexico decides to legalize marijuana, we won’t have a say after the vote.

We should recall that as recently as last week, we heard our local news informing us about an individual who was just arrested for their 15th DWI-related offense. So, if we can’t get a handle on this drug, should we really be considering making additional drugs legal?

If the vote does go through, it is imperative that what the money gets spent on is at the forefront of the decision. I can only think of two to three items that should only be up for any possible consideration.

There are a very small handful of needs in this state that almost everyone could rally around when it comes to funding.

Those issues would be education with an extreme nod to prevention.

The second would be treatment centers. When I know of people looking for help, it comes to two things availability and funding. If as a state we begin to get millions and millions of dollars in taxes from the sale of marijuana, we should build live-in treatment centers in each region. They would be places to treat kids and adults.

The last funding possibility would be hunger and homelessness. The funds generated shouldn’t be for a rainy-day fund, not regular budget items or building anything brick and mortar except for the items listed above.

This is a serious defining moment in the history of the State of New Mexico. This could be a life altering stance for tourism and more. What do we want to be know for by the other states? How and what you choose is your right as an American.

Have a voice and let it be heard.