Pubdate: Wed, 20 Nov 2013
Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Copyright: 2013 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Paul Hansen


I would like to remind the Rev. M. William Howard Jr. ("A pastor's 
call for decriminalizing pot," op-ed, Nov. 17) the reason even small 
amounts of marijuana are illegal stem from hard lessons our nation 
learned decades ago. Evidence is irrefutable that hard drug use 
begins with marijuana.

How many deaths did it take to change the laws to be as strict as 
they now are? And who benefits from the sale of a mere 2 ounces?

I do not contest the sad statistics as reported. However, I believe 
that through strong parenting and community leadership, the evils of 
drug use can be communicated.

People who avoid the use and possession of a banned substance have no 
fear of police. I encourage Howard to remind everyone that marijuana 
use leads to stronger and more harmful drugs. Overdose knows no skin color.

Paul Hansen, Berkeley Heights
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