Pubdate: Fri, 11 Feb 2011
Source: Bozeman Daily Chronicle (MT)
Copyright: 2011 The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Author: Rick Bergen


I am writing in response to the recent legislative attacks on medical
marijuana. I encourage my fellow Montanans to contact their
representatives and express support for medical marijuana. Opponents
are attempting make their personal biases law, forcing their beliefs
on everyone.

I, and many other Montanans, believe in the medicinal benefits, but we
also voted in favor of medical marijuana because we wanted to protect
pot smokers from the justice system. I do not believe marijuana is a
drug worthy of criminalization. If society wants to remove harmful
substances, then alcohol and nicotine need to be dealt with first.

There is no doubt alcohol is the most dangerous drug out there, and a
recent study in the medical journal "Lancet" found alcohol to be the
most physically and socially damaging drug. This is particularly
ironic considering that the lead voice against medical marijuana, Jim
Shockley, was recently arrested for driving with an open container.

So how do we decrease drug use? We already tried prohibition, and the
result was an increase of crime and violence. President Obama's answer
is to change society, reduce usage. These solutions fail to
acknowledge the fact that a certain part of society will always want
to live differently.

So how do we react to people who make different life choices than
ourselves? I do not believe incarceration is the answer. I think we
should embrace this new industry.

Montana is making a lot of money from medical marijuana, and the
millions of dollars are going back into our local communities. Medical
marijuana caregivers shop at local stores and hire attorneys, salon
and nail technicians and accountants. Because of this "grassroots"
dispersal, all Montanans are benefiting in some indirect way. Please
support personal freedom and privacy within the home. Tell your
representatives that you support medical marijuana.

Rick Bergen

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