Pubdate: Sun, 09 Feb 2014
Source: Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, NH)
Copyright: 2014 Geo. J. Foster Co.


But this is only one of the many reasons our nation's laws - on a 
state-by-state basis - are moving toward legalization.

When President Richard Nixon first declared his War on Drugs, federal 
agencies were quick to list marijuana as a Class A drug, along with 
heroin. This erroneous association fueled a witch hunt that 
needlessly ruined many a young life with felony convictions and jail 
time, while ignoring their cries for help.

Thankfully, we as a nation have come to understand that the War on 
Drugs overreached.

Today, the public consensus is to move forward, not bemoan past mistakes.

For some this is due to a recognition marijuana is more akin to 
alcohol. As such, those addicted should be helped not shunned or 
punished. And those who choose to use marijuana recreationally should 
be allowed to do so, as they are with a beer or martini.

Our nation has been able to wage a more effective war on smoking and 
alcohol by removing the stigma. And because both are sold and 
regulated, we have been better able to measure their use and our 
success in fighting abuse and addiction.

Of course there are many arguments to be made against legalization. 
We would argue that many of these are leftovers from the government's 
early Reefer Madness campaign and the myths it promoted.

In addition, much has happened since those days which have turned the 
opinions of even the most die-hard opponents. We urge readers to 
visit the website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition 
( and a poll at which found 45 percent of 
responding police officers receptive to legalization.

Another interesting about-face came last August and can be found at under the heading, "Sanjay Gupta changes mind on weed 
but debate continues." Gupta is a CNN resident medical commentator.

In addition, there are the life's experiences of now several 
generations which have grown up finding little distinction between 
alcohol and marijuana.

As for New Hampshire's effort to legalize the recreation use of 
marijuana, we suggest readers visit where you 
will find postings by State Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, a Republican and 
prime sponsor of House Bill 492 which would legalize recreation use 
in New Hampshire.

While the Manchester representative can be a bit verbose at times, he 
makes a good case for supporting legalization, and either in this 
session or the next we believe he will win the day in the Legislature.

Nothing written here should be seen as an endorsement for the use of 
marijuana by our children. We recognize that drugs, both legal and 
illegal, can devastate young minds. But we also understand that 
government involvement, which we rarely endorse, is better when it 
proactively and responsibly addresses problems such as substance 
abuse instead of trying to catch up afterward.
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