Pubdate: Tue, 13 Jun 2000
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2000 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Don Neal


I found the two "hemp" letters in Friday's letters column to be
remarkably educational ("Hemp vote benefits society," Hemp's value
can't be ignored," June 9). I had thought our local pot farmers were
growing the stuff to get high on and to sell to other pot smokers for
obscene profits. Now I know that they are raising it for the purpose
of manufacturing plastic, insulation, glass, paper, rope, canvas,
paint, fuel, soap, and cosmetics. And perhaps even Bibles and flags!

Come now, folks, calling marijuana by another name and conjuring up
theoretical benefits for it is not going to change the nature of the
stuff. And as for reducing crime, do you really believe that all the
criminals making a living growing and dealing will reform and become
shoe clerks, school teachers, and travel agents? They will just find
another line of illegal work. There are very few persons in jail for
just using pot.

As a final thought, if pot is fully legalized, are you willing to
accept the fact that your airline pilot, surgeon, air traffic
controller, oil tanker skipper, aircraft mechanic, railroad engineer,
bus driver, bridge designer, nuclear weapons strike commander, SWAT
team officer, or your daughter may quite legally become a very heavy
user of marijuana?

Don Neal
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