Pubdate: Wed, 10 Oct 2007
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald (Hilo, HI)
Copyright: 2007 Hawaii Tribune Herald
Author: Claude Lloyd


Is it ironic that Gray Pangle wonders in his Oct. 2 letter whether 
Gloria Baraquio really reads what she writes. He evidently didn't 
read it very well himself.

I don't know the lady but it seems obvious she is a good girl from a 
good family. She merely said that around college age she noticed many 
pot smokers were nice people who got good grades and had a multitude 
of positive attributes. That didn't match society's drug fiend stereotype.

His venomous diatribe was exactly the kind of hysteria that Gloria 
questioned. What's the big deal? We're talking about buds from a 
plant that causes mild euphoria and puts smiles on faces. Pot helps 
cancer patients ravaged by chemo by giving them an appetite so they 
can ingest sustenance. It relieves pressure in the eyes of glaucoma 
patients, and provides pain reief for many. It does all this with 
few, if any, deleterious side effects.

The rest of the plant has a plethora of valid industrial and medical 
uses. It's cheap and clean to produce, and makes great ropes, oils, etc.

I never read anything in her pieces alleging marijuana will end 
dependence on health care, welfare and gas stations. It could lessen 
such dependence and that would be a good thing. There's no doubt 
hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted on enforcement of current 
laws, resulting legal fees, and imprisonment.

Ice, coke, heroin, et al, are evil incarnate. Pot doesn't deserve to 
be lumped into the same category as that crap! When young people 
figure out how wrong society and the law is about pot, the danger is 
that they'll assume we're equally wrong about the really bad stuff. 
The government made a bizarre anti-pot movie called "Reefer Madness" 
in 1939. It showed nice folks who became bug-eyed, quivering, 
murderous lunatics when they smoked pot. It was ludicrous, but some 
of us still have those same misconceptions.

As far as the Tribune-Herald goes, have you heard of a thing called 
freedom of the press, Gary? Regarding school kids being exposed to 
Gloria's columns, I think children should be encouraged to read and 
discuss various opinions. Good parents and teachers would likely tell 
them there are differences of opinion, but while it is illegal there 
are serious ramifications to its possession/use.

The main point is that the horror here is not intrinsic in marijuana; 
rather it's in our outdated misconceptions about it.

C'mon, Gary, Gloria writes a piece every week. Coming up with 
different, interesting subject matter must be challenging. Would you 
be happier with nothing but "fluff?" Disagree if you want, but you 
don't have to be nasty about it. You were too loose with verbiage 
like "moronic," "gibberish," and "stupidity."

Claude Lloyd

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