Pubdate: Mon, 19 Aug 2002
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal (NV)
Copyright: 2002 Reno Gazette-Journal
Author: Rick Combs, Alison Thompson, Gary Newton, Theresa Jempsa, Clifton Kump


There has been a lot of discussion recently about the ballot issue 
proposing the legalization of a minimal amount of marijuana in your 
possession. In California, I smoked marijuana a few of times in the '70s 
and really enjoyed the "high" it gave me. Everything was "cool," and the 
"munchies" and sex were great when you were high. Of course, I smoked it 
next door with my "groovy" neighbors, and we are all alive today. It must 
be OK then, right?

Ever had a couple of beers or glasses of wine and got into a car to drive? 
Made you a little nervous, right? Hey man, the buzz a joint gives you is 
better than a couple of beers.

If a couple of beers make you a better driver, a joint can make you NASCAR 

Wrong. Legalizing pot is just another step toward making our highways a 
path of tears. If you are the least bit concerned about drunken driving, 
the further legalization of pot should scare the hell out of you. Please 
vote it down. We don't need another "substance" to make our highways less 
safe than they already are.

Rick Combs, Sparks

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It's very interesting that in the last couple of weeks the RGJ has 
published two large articles about the marijuana initiative entitled 
"Officials slam marijuana ballot question" (July 21) and "Snuff out 
marijuana measures, drug czar urges" (July 25). However, when Nevada's 
largest police association voted unanimously to endorse the marijuana 
initiative, there was a tiny article of less than 60 words stashed under 
"Briefly" in the local Reno section.

They failed to mention that in endorsing this initiative the president of 
the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, Andy Andersen, said, "A 
simple marijuana arrest takes a policeman off the street for half his 
shift. Passage of this initiative will ensure that more police are on the 
streets to protect our citizens from violent crimes and the threat of 
terrorism." (Editor's note: Since this letter was written, the organization 
has retracted its endorsement of the marijuana measure.)

When reporting the news it seems that the RGJ highlights the negative side 
of this issue while downplaying the positive aspects.

Alison Thompson, Reno

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In response to Amy Youngblood (Letters, Aug. 6):

She mentions, "If you need to get loaded, then buy some legalized alcohol 
and to pay the price." How many more innocent victims of alcohol do we need 
in this country, Ms. Youngblood? Death and carnage on our highways? 
Families torn apart? Women and men beaten and abused by spouses. Children 
slaughtered and abused by family members? Must they pay the price? They all 
do every day.

Its time people like you understand what alcohol does to the human spirit 
and to soaring medical costs. My background is law enforcement. I have seen 
it all. What I haven't seen is that kind of destruction regarding the use 
of cannabis. I personally do not drink or smoke. Let's wake up to the 
truth; its time has come.

Gary Newton, Reno

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The dictionary defines a mistake as: "a wrong idea or judgment." That is 
what I think Question 9, which will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, is: a big 

As a counselor for the Washoe County School District and as a parent, I 
work hard to educate my students and children about the dangers and 
consequences of taking illegal and legal drugs.

What message are we sending our youth if this initiative passes? That it is 
OK to take drugs? If marijuana becomes legal, then what drug is next?

It is well known that marijuana is a gateway drug: Often smoking marijuana 
leads to using harder drugs.

Some people believe that pot is not harmful and it can't hurt you. They are 
grossly mistaken. The strength of the ingredients in pot has become more 
potent the last several years. Also, scientific research is proving the 
harmful consequences smoking pot has on the body.

Let's not make a mistake. Instead, let's think about this generation and 
the next. Let us all use our better judgment and vote no to legalize marijuana.

Theresa Jempsa, Reno

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With the debate over whether or not marijuana should be legalized, we have 
missed the main point.

Save the lip service about medicinal uses. We are all aware of them, and it 
is already legalized for its use. It has been used and studied for years 
for this use and will continue to be.

Save me the rhetoric about its ability to spawn imagination and creativity. 
Why do you think so many starving artists and musicians are starving?

I cannot for the life of me seem to understand why the proponents are not 
mentioning the great benefits of the marijuana plant as a whole. Nothing is 
said for its use for clothing.

Nothing is said about the fact that hemp oil is one of the most beneficial, 
heart-healthy oils in existence, if not the best. These questions are not 
asked because they are non-issues. We are not discussing its benefits to 
society as a whole; we are discussing its benefit to the individual, of 
which there is truly only one, to sedate the individual.

Please save your breath: The real reason proponents want legalization is 
for enjoyment of the smoking of the marijuana leaf. Please save us from 
this madness!

Clifton Kump, Reno
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