Pubdate: Wed, 14 Aug 2013
Source: Peterborough This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Garrett Jessup


To the editor:

Re: Actor's death a wake up call for pro pot politicians, Aug. 9, 2013 edition.

K.N. Greenan has formed an opinion on marijuana based entirely on 
conclusions with no evidence.

First of all, he claims the legalization of marijuana will provoke a 
massive spike in abuse. He makes this claim assuming the current 
prohibition policies are working.

I'm pretty confident in saying they aren't.

The vast majority of people who want to smoke pot are already smoking pot.

When Portugal legalized all drugs in 2001, they saw a slight increase 
in cannabis use but that was easily outweighed by a marked decrease 
in heroin and alcohol consumption.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the United States compiles 
statistics of drug use throughout the country. Let's says a DEA 
analyst sees in the data that 80 per cent of people picked up for 
possession of methamphetamine have also been caught with cannabis. 
The analyst then makes the connection that smoking pot must lead to 
doing other drugs.

No substance can compel your brain to try a totally different 
substance. But immersion in an environment where people are being 
persuaded or coerced into trying harder drugs just might. Why 
shouldn't we take that market away from the drug dealers?

I have smoked marijuana, as have very nearly all of my friends. Most 
of us still partake from time to time. We are not strung-out junkies 
leeching off welfare to get our next fix. We work and save and pay 
our bills on time. I have nice things and great relationships. For 
Mr. Greenan to lump me in with meth addicts and junkies is 
narrow-minded and offensive. If you don't like pot, fine -- don't 
smoke it. But until my pot smoking hurts you physically, emotionally 
or financially, leave me alone.

Garrett Jessup Peterborough
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