Pubdate: Wed, 22 Sep 2010
Source: Hartford Courant (CT)
Copyright: 2010 The Hartford Courant
Author: Katy Thibault
Note: Katy Thibault, 28, lives in the Marion section of Southington.


With enough generations having had the chance to understand that the
1930s movie "Reefer Madness" was anti-drug propaganda and that the
"War on Drugs" is clearly not a war that can be successfully fought,
let alone won, isn't it time Connecticut takes a genuinely fresh look
at marijuana laws?

A number of recent news articles have made me scratch my head in
wonder. The first was a few weeks back about how there is a growing
population of illegal immigrants from Mexico who are growing vast
marijuana crops deep in California's forests. Fueled by the demand,
and lucrative payoff, from us Americans, these men (and women perhaps)
are able to thwart authorities. The defenses set up by these growers
put our brave law enforcement folks in grave danger. There are
explosive traps set around the crops and the bandits are heavily armed.

It raises a question: If there was not a demand for marijuana as an
illegal substance, because it was legally available in a responsible
manner, would the illegal supply not become redundant and dry up
almost immediately? Another article touched on this when it told of
Mexican President Felipe Calderon considering legalizing pot in Mexico
because it is a powerful way to stop the demand for the illegal stuff,
therefore rendering the bloodthirsty drug cartels useless. (Cocaine
trafficking is another story.)

Just in the past week, I read two articles about people in Connecticut
being busted in their homes for growing large amounts of marijuana.
Now, I concede I don't know if there were any other crimes committed
by these two individuals, and if there were I expect due process. A
crime is a crime no matter what substance you may be on. But, if they
are being arrested solely for growing marijuana plants on their own
property, let's wake up here. Let's stop making criminals out of
everyday citizens. [Sample Our Free Breaking News Alert And 3 P.M.
News Newsletters]

Marijuana is not a dangerous substance. Let's be completely honest.
It's a recreational drug that a great number of people all over the
world, of every socio-economic status, enjoy. People are not going to
stop smoking pot. Even in a country such as Singapore, where users
risk a very long jail sentence or even death, people still smoke pot.
Marijuana has been either decriminalized or made available for medical
use in 14 states already and no "Reefer Madness" or anything close has

It's fitting to add that I personally do not smoke pot. I have tried
it several times in the past and just don't enjoy the feeling. I know
an astounding number of people, however, who do enjoy smoking
occasionally and some who enjoy smoking every day. These are not
callous criminals. Most are hard-working citizens who support
families, go to school or do whatever a person who does not smoke pot

Of course, regulation is a must. Kids should not be smoking anything.
People who work heavy machinery or drive trucks should not be smoking
pot. Connecticut, let's get some fresh ideas on the table. Come up
with some rules that make sense about marijuana and legalize the stuff
to eradicate illegal supplies and to stop making criminals out of good
people. Hey, while we're at it, we'll create a whole new industry and
tax revenue stream for the state.

Katy Thibault, 28, lives in the Marion section of Southington.  
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