Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jan 2007
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2007 Burlington Free Press
Author: Mathew Hogg


The recent My Turn column from Addison County prosecutor John Quinn 
("Is legalizing marijuana a good idea?" Jan. 13) displays an amazing 
lack of foresight. He argues that marijuana must remain illegal for 
adults so that we can protect our children from this supposedly evil 
weed. By his logic, since we do not want our children to consume 
alcohol or tobacco we should also make the adult consumption of these 
items illegal.

If outlawing marijuana for adults keeps it away from children, then 
outlawing alcohol for adults would surely keep this out of the hands 
of children as well. Mr. Quinn further opines that marijuana should 
remain illegal because it makes one lazy. No scientific study has 
ever validated the existence of marijuana-induced Amotivational 
Syndrome but let us assume this is true. Again, by Mr. Quinn's logic, 
we should outlaw television and video games, the very embodiment of 
laziness. Mr. Quinn also implies that we need to keep marijuana 
illegal because we want to promote healthy lifestyles for our 
children. Does that mean we should outlaw all of the unhealthy things 
that children have access to now? Would Mr. Quinn seriously consider 
criminalizing soda, candy, and hamburgers so as to make it easier for 
our children to make healthy choices?

In 1933, our ancestors came to their senses and realized that the 
prohibition of alcohol actually made it easier for children to obtain 
and funded criminal empires that arose to supply a product demanded 
by many people. Hopefully, our generation will come to a similar 
understanding with marijuana.


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