Pubdate: Mon, 21 Jan 2013
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2013 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Mitch Earleywine
Page: 21A


Re: "Pot debate isn't just legalization vs. incarceration," Jan. 12 
guest commentary.

Thanks for publishing this guest commentary by Patrick J. Kennedy and 
Kevin A. Sabet. I encourage everyone to be wary of overblown 
statements made by members of either side of cannabis debate. The 
plant is unlike alcohol or tobacco, so alleged parallels require 
extremely cautious interpretation. Many of the purported consequences 
of the plant actually arise from prohibition itself, economic 
factors, or biases in the interpretation of scientific research.

The citizens of Colorado voted to legalize the plant for many 
reasons. They chose a chance to devise a regulatory scheme that would 
save law enforcement and the court systemvaluable resources, increase 
respect for other laws, and eliminate inconsistencies in the messages 
provided to children. This kind of regulation cannot continue if 
legalization is undermined.

Development often causes growing pains. There is no need to return to 
a flawed system because of exaggerated fears of a new one.

Mitch Earleywine, Albany, N.Y. The writer is a professor of 
psychology at the University at Albany-State University of New York.
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