Pubdate: Fri, 21 Feb 2014
Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ)
Copyright: 2014 Newark Morning Ledger Co
Author: Kerwin Lanz


We need a fresh perspective on the legalization of marijuana. Most of
the progress in legalization has been for medicinal purposes. The
debate over legalization for recreational purposes traditionally
concerns questions over whether the detrimental effects of the drug
are sufficiently bad to outlaw it.

The issue might be recast in terms of what societal good the
widespread recreational use of marijuana can produce. The conclusion
might be that recreational use should be legalized and encouraged.

A realist would not pretend marijuana will cure all our current ills.
But some of its effects, specifically the psychological effect
characterized as "mellowing," may be of value.

In a mellow state, one might be inclined to not be violent, or to
reflect upon the long-range moral consequences of their actions. Or
even to laugh a little at the scary seriousness that so many have come
to accept and even to perpetuate.

They have been promoting a glass of wine before dinner for its
benefits for years.

Kerwin Lanz, Farmingdale
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