Pubdate: Tue, 17 Sep 2002
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: The Hamilton Spectator 2002
Author: D. A. Horvath


RE: 'Senators would legalize pot' (Sept. 5).

Pot is a sedative; it makes users less prone to violence. And its addictive 
properties are much lower than those found in the caffeine in coffee, tea 
and soft drinks.

Most lawmakers argue that legalizing marijuana would lead to the use of 
more dangerous drugs. That's bunk.

The drug of choice for all first-time users is not marijuana; it's that 
first glass of pop, bottle of beer, glass of wine or cigarette; and 
nicotine is more addictive than heroin.

It's been proven that marijuana's addictive properties are very low; even 
heavy users can be off their physical addiction within days of quitting. 
Can we say that about coffee?

People die everyday from alcohol overdose or poisoning. When was the last 
time someone died of a marijuana overdose?

Smoking the odd "doobie" doesn't make a person aggressive. Studies have 
shown that users are least likely to assault spouses or siblings, cause a 
disturbance or generally get in trouble. Marijuana doesn't make the user 
combative or likely to commit a violent crime. Users are not the ones who 
need to commit a crime to support their habit.

Think of the tax revenue if the government treated marijuana exactly like 
alcohol. We could lower our national debt -- perhaps eliminate it within a 

Marijuana should be regulated and treated the same as alcohol or tobacco 
with the same restrictions on age and cultivation. Anyone selling pot, or 
growing in quantities other than for personal use, should be punished. 
Anyone caught supplying it to those under age should face the harshest 

As for toking and driving, it should be treated exactly like alcohol; a 
simple blood test could determine levels of impairment.

- -- D. A. Horvath

- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth