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Legal Marijuana Bad Idea in W.Va.

Some crazy ideas have been put forth in politics this year. Among the most absurd and disturbing was a suggestion this week, that the state of West Virginia should, in effect, turn to drug pushing to raise money.

Center for Budget and Policy officials released a report suggesting all sorts of benefits of legalizing recreational use of marijuana in our state. Among them is that (of course) the substance could be taxed, raising $45 million a year for state coffers. And the state’s economy could grow by nearly $200 million a year.

CBP officials threw in other alleged benefits: Criminal justice costs would be reduced, tourism would increase, and Mountain State residents would have another option for pain relief, the center suggested.

No doubt tourism would boom, as hundreds of thousands of eastern seaboard residents flocked here to, dare we say it, get high on our mountains.

And $45 million in new tax revenue could be just the beginning. Much more than that could be collected.

But at what cost?

Just a few days ago, federal officials — in the most pro-marijuana administration in memory — revealed they do not recommend taking marijuana off the list of illegal, dangerous substances. There are too many reasons to worry about the adverse effects of legalization, they explained.

State officials have discussed legalizing marijuana on a very limited basis for medicinal use. But recreational sale is another thing. We don’t think most West Virginians are ready for our state to go to pot.

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