Pubdate: Sun, 02 Feb 2014
Source: Casper Star-Tribune (WY)
Copyright: 2014 Lee Enterprises
Author: Sean Ingledew



I'm writing in regards to Patrick Simonaitis' article titled
"Marijuana-related rage, Smirnoff Ice lead to Casper man's arrest"
(Jan. 28). I can't help but wonder why, in this city of 60,000-plus,
this somewhat negligible event was determined noteworthy. I think it's
more than just coincidence that a mundane household conflict would
find its way to print with the title "Marijuana-related rage" at a
time when there is so much happening politically with marijuana in our
state and in Colorado.

Having grown up in Casper a somewhat troubled adolescent myself, I
know that things can be tough for a youth in this day and age. When I
read this whole story, I came away with a much different
interpretation than the title would suggest. Even though Mr. Anderson
was bummed out about not being able to buy some weed, it certainly
seems that alcohol is what led to the verbal abuse and the punching of
holes in the walls. I would opine that a sense of self-entitlement,
not all too uncommon to today's youth, may have also been at play
here. In my experience, I've never seen marijuana lead to withdrawals,
much less any symptoms that would culminate in violence.

Folks may find themselves wanting to demonize marijuana in instances
like this. They may find themselves wanting to believe what they read
about "withdrawals' or so-called "hallucinogenic properties", but
those folks may then find themselves in the undesirable position of
having to just take it from someone who's been there. I like to enjoy
a few beers, and I don't smoke marijuana anymore. But I will still
assert that weed is safer and less destructive than alcohol.

In my eyes, it's apparent that this story was chosen and framed in a
certain light, in an attempt to sway public opinion in the midst of a
turbulent political atmosphere. Like it or not, marijuana, by and
large, does not induce fits of rage or incite violence. So if one
wants to make a truthful and accurate case against it, I don't think
the "Reefer Madness" angle is the right approach.

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