Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2016
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Rob Neaga


I read with interest the editorial about marijuana ("Smoked out of 
our minds, March 17). I am very concerned about developing brains 
being adversely affected by its use as well. The same discussion 
should also include alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and sugar.

Right now, marijuana is available to minors because there are no 
legal controls on the substance, which puts it in the hands of 
illegal merchants who don't ask for proof of age when making a sale.

Adults who have bad habits and may smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol 
buy their vices at reputable stores and are asked for proof of age if 
they look young, as selling these products to minors is an offence. 
This is reasonable in a society that isn't perfect but tries to be fair.

The current laws concerning marijuana are unfair in the sense that 
organized criminals make billions of dollars each year on its untaxed 
sales. Vast quantities of police and court resources are wasted 
upholding the law and, worst of all, productive and otherwise 
innocent people get criminal records and jail time for consuming a 
product that is easily available and safer than alcohol, tobacco, 
caffeine or sugar, which are all known killers. There are no deaths 
attributed to marijuana and in fact, medical science has found it 
quite useful in some treatments.

Death rates of tobacco and alcohol are well known, and caffeine has a 
lethal dose as well. Diabetes is the sixth leading killer in Canada, 
sugar overdose is the leading cause of diabetes and yet sugar isn't 
banned or regulated and is even given to kids by Santa Claus, the 
Easter Bunny and some moms and dads.

The editorial mentions carnage on the roads if marijuana were to be 
legalized. It is widely available today, and the people who would 
smoke and drive are already doing so. I would prefer to share the 
road with them than overcaffeinated mochaccino addicts who are late 
for work because the line at their favourite coffee shop was longer 
than anticipated.

Enough reefer madness. Sell and tax marijuana to adults who choose to 
consume it. With these controls in place, it may be harder for a 
teenager to smoke pot than it is today.

Rob Neaga Squamish
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom