Pubdate: Mon, 16 Feb 2015
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2015 The Columbus Dispatch
Author: Michele DeShazo


I respond to the Feb. 9 letter "Legal pot coming but make it fair," 
from Martyn Brodnik. The writer asserted that "legal marijuana is 
coming, whether all Ohio residents like it or not. Fortunes will be made."

The problem he identified with legalizing marijuana is the fairness 
of who is going to be making these fortunes. I strongly disagree with 
Brodnik's assessment, and find the problem to be much more devastating.

In the Feb. 7 Dispatch article "Addiction programs in budget," I read 
that "eight of 10 people come to Ohio prisons with a history of 
abusing drugs and alcohol." On that same page, I read the Dispatch 
article "Two men convicted of heroin trafficking."

Turn the page, and I read an article on a drug raid in which police 
gunfire aimed at dogs hit a fleeing suspect instead. Another article 
on the same page told of a roadrage collision in which one of the 
drivers is charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of 
drugs or alcohol and posession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

The next page of the same Metro & State section had an article about 
a man sentenced to 10 months in prison for helping to dump a woman's 
body after she died of a heroin overdose.

Readers turned to page B8 and found an article about police finding 
almost 20 pounds of pot, along with guns, digital scales and packing 
materials, in a home. A child was removed from the home, which was 
within 1,000 feet of a middle school.

These are just some of the obvious problems with legalizing 
marijuana. Studies that show the effect of marijuana on a human brain 
are another reason not to legalize.

The problem with legalizing marijuana is not as simple as who will be 
getting rich. The real problem is the devastating impact drugs have 
(yes, marijuana is a gateway drug) and how to control and ultimately 
stop the drug problem that already spills into our communities and 
lives, daily.

For those who agree with President Barack Obama and think marijuana 
is just a bad habit or that legal penalties fall disproportionately 
on minorities and that states legalizing pot should go ahead with 
their plans, I ask, are those really good reasons to jeopardize the 
quality of our lives and our children's lives and futures?

The sole purpose of using marijuana is to get high. Are we really 
saying we all think that is an acceptable condition in which to 
function in our society?


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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom