Pubdate: Sun, 08 Mar 2015
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2015 Burlington Free Press
Author: Jared Henderson


How unfortunate the Vermont Legislature is considering a bill to 
legalize recreational marijuana, I think that's a shame this is issue 
is considered up for debate. What they should be doing is addressing 
the alcohol epidemic that is plaguing this country, not wasting our 
time debating whether or not a harmless plant should be legal.

Marijuana is a safe harmless drug when used responsibly. If it was 
legalized tomorrow not much would change. A few new business would 
open, tourism would increase, and farmers would have a new crop to 
plant. So I don't really understand why we are debating this issue. 
It is pretty apparent legalization of marijuana would just result in 
more jobs and more revenue for the state.

What we should be having a debate about is alcohol. Alcohol is not 
only physically addictive but is responsible for 88,000 deaths per 
year in this country. These deaths are due to health effects from 
drinking too much over time, such as breast cancer, liver disease and 
heart disease, and health effects from consuming a large amount of 
alcohol in a short period of time, such as violence, alcohol 
poisoning and motor vehicle crashes. Addiction can tear apart 
families, ruin people's lives, and kill productivity. Excessive 
drinking cost the United States almost $224 billion in 2006 alone. In 
Vermont, drinking is more likely to kill young people than all 
illegal drugs (including marijuana) combined.

It is time to address this issue. Who cares about a harmless plant 
being legal? Let's legalize marijuana and start having a conversation 
about alcohol. Encourage your legislators and senators to vote yes on 
recreational marijuana legislation so we can debate legislation that 
has a real potential to save lives.


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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom