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Kareem Puranda
Dec 11, 2012

Puff, Puff, Pass: Cheech and Chong are good to go…

First Washington now Colorado….and the trend begins! I think this is a great victory for all who enjoy the pleasantries of smoking marijuana in those states. Many laws surrounding simple possession and various intent to sell and deliver criteria’s have seemingly targeted minorities disproportionately and landed them in either jail or on a probationary sentence that imposes fees which most probationers cannot afford. Some probationers have explained that it is a matter of deciding whether or not to pay fees or buy groceries at the expense of an active sentence.

Frustration levels are high. I am not a smoker but I am happy that those states are setting a precedent; I believe other states will soon follow. Perhaps crime will go down….(wishful thinking) but for those who engage in smoking marijuana now have the freedom to enjoy the buzz and ease some tension in the privacy of their own dwelling.

Considering the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, what are the implications for counselors working with clients who come seeking help after smoking a joint? I can imagine a celebratory binge on marijuana smoking, perhaps even parties that expand on the 420 events that take place in some areas. What would be interesting to see is how they tax and impose regulations around the usage and what policies will companies put in place concerning the usage of marijuana? What cigarette company, if any, will distribute? LOL… what a rapidly evolving world we live in. As the past becomes irrelevant but never forgotten it is imperative we keep our commitment to what we value as moral and ethical.

On a side note….Denver Broncos have a new reason to cheer in Mile “High” Stadium……

Kareem Puranda is a counselor-in-training at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is an advocate for the disadvantaged population and can be reached at

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