Pubdate: Fri, 09 May 2014
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2014 The Tribune Co.
Author: John G. Chase

Letter of the Day


Florida sheriffs speak out against medical marijuana because they 
deal every day with violent crime involving individuals who often 
abuse alcohol or other drugs. They rarely encounter an individual 
like the one who was the subject of the May 4 Letter of the Day, "Let 
her have a shot at a semi-normal life."

They - all of us - should look outside our own experience. When 
Florida votes for Amendment 2 in November, we will not be the guinea 
pig; over one third of our 50 states already have had medical 
marijuana laws in effect long enough to draw conclusions. In those 
states, public safety actually has improved. This is documented by 
six research papers, either peer-reviewed or in the process. They are 
all good-faith attempts at apples-to-apples comparisons. Taken as a 
group, these states have seen reductions in property crime and 
violent crime, in traffic fatalities and in suicides. Equally 
important, there has been no increase in marijuana use by adolescents.

In light of this recent data, Florida sheriffs should reconsider 
their opposition to Amendment 2.

John G. Chase

Palm Harbor
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