Pubdate: Sat, 08 Feb 2014
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2014 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Michael J. Haworth


Debra J. Saunders echoes common-sense thinking ("Heroin, marijuana - 
one kills, one doesn't," Feb. 6) as she quotes Rep. Earl Blumenauer, 
D-Ore., who has compiled statistics regarding the lethality of 
alcohol, tobacco and marijuana. That there's no comparison comes as 
no surprise to anyone who came of age in the '60s or beyond, and that 
includes President Obama, who is now willing to make public the 
private opinion he's held for years, that marijuana is no more 
dangerous than alcohol.

The fact that marijuana continues to be lumped together with Schedule 
1 hard drugs is patently absurd. White House deputy director of drug 
control policy, Michael Botticelli, said families "believe ... 
legalizing marijuana sends the worst message to our youth."

I believe lying to our youth sends a more dangerous message. (And 
isn't it sad that the thousands of heroin overdoses occurring 
annually haven't led toward the current dialogue that one Philip 
Seymour Hoffman's death has?)

With executive powers, which he has vowed to use, his only option to 
circumvent the GOP-led House, President Obama needs to remove 
marijuana from the Schedule 1 classification so that recreational-use 
legislation can proceed without federal oversight.

Michael J. Haworth, Vallejo
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