Pubdate: Fri, 07 Jan 2011
Source: Mountain Mail, The (Salida, CO)
Copyright: 2011 Arkansas Valley Publishing
Author: Ed Berg


Dear Editor:

Some positions on the marijuana issue are just so entertaining.

The argument runs like this: "Medical Marijuana dispensaries have no 
record of causing trouble; they offer relief from pain, disease and 
sleeplessness to thousands of clients, they pay much-needed tax 
revenue, so we need to shut them down."

When did that start making sense?

Medical and scientific journals steadily report new findings that 
medical marijuana isn't addictive, isn't a "gateway drug" and is 
highly effective in treating hundreds of afflictions from pain to cancer.

But we need to protect our community from exposure to this demon drug.

What kind of person does this make sense to?

Our local government struggles to provide services taxpayers want, 
but some of those taxpayers want to shut down six viable taxpaying 
businesses. The logic behind this argument would be what, exactly?

Marijuana has a vastly better record than alcohol and tobacco when it 
comes to health, safety and addictive behavior, but somehow, "We're 
better off without the dispensaries, although so far we've never had 
any problems with our six shops."

That's right up there with the Salida code enforcement record of 
keeping us all safe from the potential dangers of uncontrolled 
birdhouse sales by little boys.

If we really are worried about well-being of our youths, let's shut 
down all the liquor and tobacco sales.

Every year, The Mountain Mail reports alcohol-related driving 
fatalities, especially of teenagers, and dozens more get addicted to 

But there's no issue with that; cheap beer and cigarettes cure just 
which diseases? Still, we need to shut down those dispensaries.

What is it about other peoples' use of marijuana that stops some 
peoples' ability to think? What makes medical marijuana different 
from liquor and tobacco?

There's an old phrase that answers that question: "They must be 
smoking dope." A better answer is that marijuana, unlike alcohol and 
tobacco, never caused the health and safety problems that support 
government bureaucracies, and ever since Prohibition days, medical 
marijuana has been the target of government officials without enough to do.

Gosh, Prohibition worked so well (creating the black market that 
created the Mafia), and the War on Drugs eliminated drug abuse. Sure.

Just like our successful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So let's 
perpetuate the lunacy, ban medical marijuana, and keep that black 
market healthy.

I have difficulty understanding how Salida will "lose our vacation 
destination charm" and presumably the associated tourism revenue. 
Remove six dispensary signs and the Collegiate Peaks, the Sangre de 
Cristos and the Arkansas River just magically disappear.

Does the author of that nonsense really believe that Sunday school 
classes from Alamosa are the big spenders here?

He hasn't tried to terminate liquor licenses, and if he doesn't think 
our kids don't already have plenty of access to pot, (just like 
booze), he's completely out of touch with our youth.

We never need to look far for entertainment when we have so many 
officials struggling to maintain the illusion of usefulness.

Ed Berg,

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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom