Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2016
Source: Sarnia Journal, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2016 Sarnia Journal
Author: Matt Lewis


Sir: In response to the guest columnist by Nadine Wark.

While I agree that we have to be careful implementing a legal
framework to make marijuana legal, she has misrepresented facts, or
made statements that just aren't true.

I haven't seen many deny the fact that marijuana does affect the brain
development of youth. This is true of many things, including nicotine
and alcohol, which she seems to have no problem with. Studies show
marijuana is less harmful than both.

She also misrepresented the facts about marijuana leading to harder
drugs. Most users of that nature use drugs to mask or alleviate a
symptom of a physical ailment or mental illness. With heavy use the
effect of pot starts to diminish, so they move on to different drugs,
not because it gives them an appetite for something more, but because
they need something that works as well as the previous drug did.

Far too many people have gone to jail for a plant that most doctors
agree has medicinal benefits. If you look at the statistics for crime
in Colorado since marijuana became legalized, violent crime has
declined. Granted, that has been the case since the early 90's, but
also serious crime has dropped as well.

The murder rate in Denver has dropped 24.4%, major property crime is
down 8.1%.

To her notion that fringe people would take to the streets clearly
isn't the case, and if there are people selling drugs, that would
still be as illegal as it is today, so I don't understand her concern.

People possessing marijuana would be legal; you would still need a
permit issued by the government to sell it.

Furthermore, if there are people doing illegal acts to try and make a
living, isn't that more about helping them than throwing them in jail?

Lastly, to her point about under-agers. Have we had a mass number of
kids buying alcohol that only she knows about? This will still be
policed. Education and parenting are key to children understanding the
hazards of drug use.

Matt Lewis

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