Pubdate: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2002, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Matthew Hulett
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Nevadans for Responsible Law
Bookmark: (Question 9 (NV))


Re "Got Pot?" [RN&R, Oct. 3, 2002]:

I feel D. Brian Burghart's pain, there are some of us who dislike some of
the salesman tactics utilized by this particular drug policy reform group.
In our minds, given the fact that we are opposed by people with billions of
dollars to waste on propaganda, we must retain the moral high ground and
always exhibit the highest of integrity.

I am a druggie legalizer; I call myself a drug policy scholar. I would be
willing to answer any and all of this man's questions. I can tell him some
medical users need three ounces on hand. For example, one man who just one a
Health Canada exemption for his marijuana usage smokes 12 joints per day to
control his adrenal cancer symptoms. The truth is that every major drug
policy study done in the past 50 years recommends moving towards
decriminalization, if not outright legalization of marijuana. Let me answer
some of his points:

"When I regularly smoked pot two decades ago, I quit for a reason: It was
making me stupid--affecting my short-term memory, blurring my attention to

It sounds as if he was a chronic user. Far better to show moderation in all
things. Keep it to below three usages per day, preferably no wake-n-baking
nor just before sleep. I use marijuana occasionally, and you can judge my
cognitive abilities for yourselves. I'll debate any man in opposition to
this policy proposal. Take a gander at this: long_term_marijuana_smoking_does.htm

"These days, I certainly don't want my children around the stuff."

It is already around them, kids report it is easier to buy marijuana than

"If a cancer patient needs to get high in order to feel better, he or she
should be able to--Nevada voters say so."

I do not think Jesus would want us to persecute the sick and dying for
consuming a plant either.

"I've got other fears."

Don't we all, friend, except it is crack and meth that frighten me.

"I also imagine that pot smokers will move to the state in droves if pot
becomes legal."

I highly doubt that, no one is flocking to Ohio for its laxest-in-the-nation
marijuana possession laws. Do people flock there for your prostitutes, or
your gambling or do they just break the law at home? Unless there is a good
chance of being caught, they will stay home.

"Pot-intoxicated drivers will undoubtedly increase."

I am not too sure of that, but if it were so, I am not too concerned. The
FDA states I can drive safely under the influence of Marinol once I am
behaviorily accustomed to its affects. Believe it or not, plenty of people
have been doing this for a long time, including the recently deceased first
patient to receive marijuana from the government. He used to drive home from
work in Florida (I think that was his home state) smoking a joint. No
problems. Forbid it? I will not fight for this political cause, marijuana
smokers can be inconvenienced, but I will oppose any significant shift of
our limited resources to bust them.

"My children will come into contact with more children who have
'responsible' parents (who possess small amounts of marijuana in the privacy
of their own homes) and who have more access to dope."

Just teach your children the truth, as the Dutch do. Certain things are for
adults, and you should wait. If you refuse, better we allow the use after
age 16 than to watch you enter the black market trade.

"I don't know. I look for answers, but I can't see through the smoke of

You are not looking in the right places. A recently released drug policy
report from the Canadian Senate is online at [For the full
link, visit the RN&R Web site.]

Matthew Hulett
Short Hills, N.J.

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