Pubdate: Sat, 21 Sep 2002
Source: Florida Times-Union (FL)
Copyright: 2002 The Florida Times-Union
Author: Wayne C. Packard
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


A recent Times-Union article stated that Canada, along with several other 
countries and even some American states, is considering the legalization of 

This is something far overdue in our country of supposedly forward- 
thinking people. We have all repeatedly seen and heard of violent crimes 
due to the consumption of alcohol, but how many examples do we have of 
violence generated by the smoking of marijuana? None.

The article stated that 743,000 people were imprisoned in the year 2000 
alone because of marijuana possession, yet we continue to spend billions of 
our tax dollars to stop it.

Why don't we simply legalize it and control it with the same rules as those 
that apply to alcohol? If we were to do so, we could then spend those 
billions elsewhere, where they are more desperately needed.

I could never favor the legalization of heroin and cocaine because they 
have been shown to be addictive. But when our politicians carp about the 
"addictive effects" of marijuana, they are either misinformed or lying.

At some point, we will have to give consideration to the millions of lives 
that have been damaged by our outdated and puritanical laws.

Once we are finally able to come to our senses and legalize this most 
innocuous of substances, let's get all those people who have been 
imprisoned for the non-violent crime of use and possession of marijuana out 
of our jails and prisons.

We must reconsider our priorities. The continued punishing of people for 
their use or possession of marijuana is such a tragic waste of our time and 

Wayne C. Packard, retired, Jacksonville
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