Colorado and Washington now feature legitimate businesses that were, just a few short months ago, a criminal offense and a serious one at that. Now it seems that a wry sense of humor has brought the marijuana smoker out of their smoke-filled cars, houses, and dorm rooms. Is there an upside to this for recovering people? Sure there is! And with a whole bunch of potential that is as of yet unrealized. All recovery and drug policy is successful to the degree that we as a culture are honest about it.
Marijuana policy is inherently dishonest because it perpetuates the myth that criminality prevents use and potential impairment. New laws in some states are bringing all of that out of the closet, and with it the potential to be honest about intoxication. What the recovery community isn’t doing is demanding a “recovery tax” on all forms of intoxication. The amount of revenue that could be put to use for treatment and sustained recovery programming is unknown but it would be huge, certainly more than what is currently available. As a bonus, taxation is a barrier to accessibility, and does much more to reduce rates of use than “happy go lucky” fantasy campaigns like “just say no!”.
At Rebound Brooklyn, while do have a bottom line of profitability, we also have a bottom line of helping people, and this is why we have a deep commitment to doing “pro bono” work. By taxing intoxicants, we can fill the coffers for treatment, recovery and “second chance” legislation, and thereby reduce rates of use. Seems like a paradox (and maybe it is) but there is a 12 step slogan which goes: “surrender to win”. Maybe it’s time for a macro level surrender?
- Joe Schrank
- Scott Bienenfeld, M.D.