Pubdate: Tue, 17 May 2011 Source: Bay Of Plenty Times (New Zealand) Copyright: 2011 Bay Of Plenty Times Contact: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/feedback/letters-to-the-editor/ Website: http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2926 Author: Jan Morrison SOFTENING DOPE LAWS NOT END OF WORLD Re Softer drug laws 'not helpful' (News, May 9). Remember the Homosexual Law Reform Bill? Passed in the 1980s. Remember the fear-mongerers predicting society's immediate decay? And what happened? Nothing of the kind. Life as usual for those ones so afraid. Same goes with the "legalise marijuana" issue. So many smoke it now - taken sensibly, it has its place as a recreational drug as much as alcohol - enjoying a high mankind has enjoyed in a vast variety of forms throughout the ages. Some abuse it, as some abuse alcohol. So it always will be. But to soften the law will not increase the problems, it just shifts the fight to a different arena - away from the courts, where smokers are made criminals, and into private homes, where the real problems lie. As so it should be. Wherever there is abuse of a substance there is a lost soul. Just don't blame the substance and penalise peaceful dope-smokers for those who can't handle life alone. People are afraid of what they don't understand. It doesn't make them right. Jan Morrison Welcome Bay - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.