Pubdate: Mon, 03 Mar 2014
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Copyright: 2014 The Daily Herald Company
Pubdate: Mon, 03 Mar 2014
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Author: Dan Linn


I would like to respond to the recent letter about keeping cannabis
illegal. Whether or not cannabis is physically and/or psychologically
addictive ignores the fact that by prohibiting cannabis we are
empowering criminals at the same time we are putting children and
teenagers at risk.

I imagine that the letter writer has heard of Al Capone and why he
benefited from the illegality of alcohol during that failed
Prohibition. Al Capone is no longer alive, but we now have even more
vicious drug cartels in Mexico that are similarly benefiting from an
illegal product that many people want to consume. By legalizing
cannabis we could hurt the profit margins of those cartels and have a
regulated product with quality controls and age restrictions.

According to High School Risk Behavior Surveys released by the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers have easier access to
cannabis, an illegal product, than they do to alcohol or tobacco. The
reason is that people who sell alcohol and tobacco have a license to
do so and therefore will enforce age restriction laws, whereas the
high school pot dealer doesn't care how old the customer is.

Parents who consume cannabis with their kids should be punished just
like parents who supply alcohol to underage parties should be punished.

In America we have many addictive substances and behaviors that are
legally tolerated so long as adults engage in them in a responsible
way, and cannabis consumption should be no different, regardless of
its addictive potential. We need to be spending precious law
enforcement time and money catching dangerous criminals, not
responsible adults who choose to consume the dried flowers of this
particular plant.

Dan Linn

Executive director

Illinois NORML
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