Pubdate: Sat, 26 Sep 2009
Source: Lake County News-Sun (IL)
Copyright: 2009 Sun-Times News Group
Author: Frederick Chase, Jr


The damage to children from imprisonment of a father for murder is
tough enough, as described in the Sept. 22 article on kids of prison
inmates. But when children are deprived of a parent by incarceration
of a father for a marijuana offense, it is an outrage.

The real problems are nicotine and alcohol, not marijuana. After all,
we have Mothers Against Drink Driving. We don't have Mothers Against
Pot Smokers. Does anyone know, for instance, of tens, hundreds or
thousands who have died from marijuana abuse?

Yet we all know of tens and hundreds and thousands and hundreds of
thousands who have died from alcohol abuse and nicotine. Yet those
substances are legal. Of course, we read about thousands massacred in
Mexico and other places from the Drug War, but that is from the war
over huge profits because it is illegal, not from consumption.

If we treat marijuana and other drugs as a medical problem, like
nicotine and alcohol, not as a criminal matter, we lower the
incarceration rate and the huge related costs. Many fewer children
then suffer the loss of care and attention of a father.

So what if marijuana is smoked recreationally? I drink alcohol
recreationally and alcohol has greater risks attached to it than does
marijuana. Obviously, both need to be regulated for young people.

It is ironic that teenagers report that marijuana, which is illegal,
is more readily obtained than alcohol, which is only regulated. We
went through all this 70 years ago with Prohibition, but we didn't
learn nuthin'.

Frederick Chase, Jr.
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