Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jun 2000
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2000 The Seattle Times Company
Contact:  P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111
Fax: (206) 382-6760
Author: Lou Rollins


The Dangers Of Pot Are Not The Real Issue

I'd like to state that it is not necessary to accept all of Kevin Nelson's 
statistics ("Legalizing pot would be less harmful than the ban," Northwest 
Voice, June 18) in order to share his opposition to marijuana prohibition.

Nelson says, "Tobacco kills 450,000 Americans per year, alcohol 125,000, 
marijuana 0."

How does Nelson know that nobody ever dies in traffic accidents due to 
impaired driving ability as a result of smoking marijuana?

And how does Nelson know that long-term, frequent smoking of marijuana 
cannot possibly cause or contribute to the development of serious lung 
disease? Nevertheless, it might still be true that marijuana is much less 
harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and, in my opinion, it's a better high 
than alcohol. (Tobacco is no high at all, as far as I'm concerned.)

More importantly, however, I oppose marijuana prohibition on the simple 
libertarian grounds that it is not any of the government's or society's 
business how people choose to relax and enjoy themselves in the privacy of 
their homes.

Lou Rollins, Port Townsend
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