Pubdate: Sat, 08 Dec 2012
Source: Calgary Herald (CN AB)
Copyright: 2012 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Lucille Fisher
Page: A14


Re: "Legalized pot opens Pandora's box of problems," Susan Martinuk, 
Opinion, Dec. 7.

Susan Martinuk seems to have a big problem with marijuana. I am 
curious whether she has the same problem with alcohol or cigarettes, 
since her issues with marijuana can be applied to them as well.

She raises the issue of underage youth getting hold of pot once it's 
legalized. This happens even if it's not legalized, and it also 
happens with alcohol and cigarettes. The fact these are illegal 
doesn't stop most teens from partaking.

The addiction issue is not as dire as she makes it sound. Pot is not 
as addictive as nicotine, as the withdrawal symptoms are less severe 
and do not last as long. This addiction can be equated to caffeine or 
sugar addiction. I don't see anyone up in arms over people who drink 
too much coffee.

As to school, work and driving, let's look at other countries that 
have legalized marijuana. Folks who drive after using pot would be 
driving under the influence, which is illegal.

Her claim that marijuana causes cancer is false. There have been zero 
deaths from marijuana, and cancer is more often caused by harmful 
chemicals found in cigarettes, and less often the nicotine itself. 
Yet, there has been no ban on cigarettes. One could always ingest pot 
instead of smoking it. Problem solved.

If we continue to ban marijuana, we should also ban alcohol and 
cigarettes, as they are much more harmful and cause a greater strain 
on our health-care system. This ban on pot only creates criminals and 
a black market for a drug that can help people with multiple 
sclerosis, chronic pain, chemotherapy and severe anxiety lead a better life.

Lucille Fisher, Calgary
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