Pubdate: Thu, 9 Jul 2009
Source: Repository, The (Canton, OH)
Copyright: 2009 The Repository
Author: Henry M. Downing, Jr.


This off-and-on debate about legalizing marijuana has been hot and
cold since the 1970s. The pros and cons make one wonder who's against
it and who's for it.

Now TV is saturated with commercials for medicines with dangerous side
effects, including bleeding ulcers, blurred vision, stroke and blood
clots. Marijuana can relieve the pain of cancer and glaucoma and
relieve depression with only three side effects: laughter, hunger and

Could it be getting a bad rap because it's not taxable? This makes it
a dangerous thing.

Marijuana should be legalized with strict regulation. It would end the
smuggling into this country. Gang activity would be partly eliminated
because they wouldn't be guarding an illegal product. It would reduce
murder because there wouldn't be a reason to smuggle it if it had no

You will never end the war on drugs because if one person gets
arrested, two or three others will take his place. Smuggling drugs
puts more guns on the streets.

At first, people would think they could overindulge if it became
legal, but once the novelty wore off, it would become mundane. And if
people had to pay for overindulgence with out-of-pocket expenses due
to having no insurance, it would be a deterrent.

We should get our heads out of the sand, get away from the fear factor
and realize that legalizing marijuana would reduce bank robberies,
gang activity and crime in general. This same concept can be used with
cocaine, meth and other drugs. Many lives could be saved, not taken

Henry M. Downing Jr.,

Jackson Township
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