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Susan Winston Headshot

So Now My Kids Are Driving Stoned

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Remember oh so long ago -- like about a month ago -- when we worried that our kids might be driving loaded with a drink or two? Inebriation is a no-no in our society. If you live in my neighborhood, every weekend, there are sobriety checkpoints set up throughout the valley. People are pulled over, often for no reason at all -- just a regular check. They have not been bobbing and weaving or racing around or doing anything untoward. They are stopped because they are teenagers or octogenarians. The police world assumes that the two drive similarly. Driving experience of 60 some years gives no old-ager an edge above the 21-year-olds.

But now, our kids are driving around stoned out of their brains. My son, a Colorado resident (fortunately without a car), recapped election night for me. Obama won -- big cheer. Marijuana was declared legal and the town went crazy. Everyone lit up right away and before you could sing "one toke over the line," Colorado was ablaze and the blazers were zooming around honking their horns in delight. Yeah man, so who won that president-thingy?

Seriously, do we really think that being lit out of our brains is safer than having a few beers? Do we really want people driving around who suddenly need an infusion of mint chocolate chip ice cream to make it home?

I remember when I was first pregnant. My husband and I had one of those stupid conversations that a lot of parents do. "Would we ever admit to using pot or any other drug?" Of course not. We were going to be the pure and perfect parents. Just how dumb did we think our kids were? We were students of the '60s and we tried everything you could smoke or ingest. To this day, we have never admitted it (I guess until now). But I remember some of the totally hazy days when we lay paralyzed on the floor, Grateful Dead blaring, hoping someone would show up with some munchies.

I know our kids never believed us. For one Christmas, we were presented with a lid of pot (for you neophytes, that's about one finger short of a bagful), a roller, paper and even matches. We were appalled and then could not wait for them to leave the house so we could light up and blow the residue out the window; heaven forbid our clothes smell like marijuana. It was one of their best gifts ever. And now I will probably never get another job again. But I promise you, we did not go driving around with Eric Clapton's "Cocaine" rockin' the night away. We zoned out at home and still wished we had mint chip ice cream.

So here are the laws anointed by Governor Hickenlooper -- and that is a real name and an appropriate one.

Adults over the age of 21 may possess one ounce of marijuana in plant form

They may posses 16 ounces of a solid marijuana infused product -- let's say that's like eating a tin of brownies. And if you're stoned, that's easy to do.

They may possess 72 ounces of liquid infused marijuana. I have never known anyone to drink the stuff but if you get 72 ounces, which is 6 beers (most likely illegal), it's worth the try.

I am not a stoner, but these new laws can certainly change some minds. According to the current Gallup poll, the country is divided 50/50 on the legalization of marijuana. I guess that means half of us are stoned at any given time. Can we be stoned at work? In the gym? At the doctor's office? At our daycare facility?

And just who is growing this stuff? There is a whole new market out there for marijuana growers who promise a "premium" product. My kids tell me it's outrageously better than anything ever before. We are now becoming the wrecked nation.

So I am both appalled and amused. If I remain appalled I will be disowned. If I remain amused I hope not to be out on the roads when my kids are driving. Am I for legalization? Only if it comes with the same restrictions as alcohol does. I don't need my vehicle crunched up by someone shouting, "Hey Dude, Where's My Car? Your car is sitting currently in my car 'dude.'" When does stage two of being high go higher? It's not that I'm afraid to drive, it's just the 7-Eleven is out of mint chip and that will tell you how much smoking's really going on.