It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I fully understood what had happened in my own family. While looking through an old family photo album, I found newspaper clippings which revealed that my parent had been incarcerated for a marijuana related crime. I’ll never forget the stunned sense of self-realization from that moment. This was why we were afraid of law enforcement. This was why I was taught that we were the good guys and the cops were out to get us. This was why I would never call the police for help and why I felt terrified as a little girl every time McGruff the Crime dog came to our school. This was why one of my parents was gone.
My parents were good people, kind, loving and gentle. They were athletic, non-violent hippies. Our family was hurting and broken, traumatized by raids, arrests and incarceration. All because of a little weed that was never actually even found.
As an adult I’ve worked hard to heal my understanding of what happened and repair my own perceptions and relationships with both my parents and law enforcement. Law enforcement is important, their jobs are dangerous and I respect them. They have to follow the law, which right now still prohibits marijuana possession.
Making sure that children have their parents, avoiding traumatizing and tearing families apart, even if a parent uses marijuana, is equally important. I know this truth first hand. There are no words that can explain how much I needed both of my parents. The effect of a marijuana incarceration has caused multigenerational damage and pain to my family and countless others.
A vote for regulation
On November 6, 2018 we all have a unique opportunity to decide whether or not we should continue arresting and incarcerating Michigan adults who responsibly use cannabis. I’m voting ‘yes’ and I’ve personally spent years of my life working to get this very important initiative placed before Michigan voters. As a mother who is raising four amazing drug and alcohol free children I am confident that regulating marijuana, like alcohol, is the right and responsible thing to do.
I ask you to consider “is marijuana prohibition worth it?” Is it even working? Is it worth locking up parents and spending our tax dollars to house them when they could be at home working and caring for their children? I’m asking you to join me and vote yes to end marijuana prohibition in Michigan because regulation is better than incarceration and it’s the right thing to do.