Pubdate: Tue, 16 Aug 2016
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2016 The News and Observer Publishing Company


Those who argue against the mass legalization of marijuana say it's 
dangerous and can lead to more addictive drugs. But that hasn't been 
the experience of all who casually smoked pot in their younger years 
and then let it go. And, some in the medical field believe marijuana 
can relieve side effects of chemotherapy, ease the pressure 
associated with glaucoma and help with minor maladies.

Thus, the Drug Enforcement Administration's decision to stay with a 
46-year-old law categorizing marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, a 
serious drug with no medical value, seems unreasonable. There is 
plenty of anecdotal evidence from people who have used it for medical 
reasons, and even as a "recreational"  drug, is pot really more 
harmful than alcohol? That's a difficult argument to make.

It's only been a couple of years since the U.S. Justice Department 
decided to allow Washington state and Colorado to sell recreational 
marijuana. Will there be studies of the effects of that in terms of 
increasing drug use, or crime, or harming individuals and families? 
There should be.

But Democrat Hillary Clinton is right in saying she'll consider a 
different classification for the drug if she wins the White House. 
Marijuana, after all, used to land people in prison with extreme 
sentences and ruin their lives, for possession of relatively small 
amounts. Even some former prosecutors who participated in those cases 
have come to realize they were wrong.
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