Pubdate: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Copyright: 2002, Chico Community Publishing, Inc
Author: Kendall M. Cox
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Nevadans for Responsible Law 
Bookmark: (Question 9 (NV))
Editor's note: You're high, Kendall. D. Brian Burghart reported on seven 
reasons that law enforcement thinks the war on marijuana should continue. 
He never said he agreed with these reasons; in fact, like you, he debunked 
several of them.


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

Mr. Burghart lists seven reasons he thinks the war on marijuana should 
continue. I believe it is in our best interest as a nation to end this 
harassment of our own citizens. Here are seven responses to assertions made 
in the story:

1. No one, not the American Medical Association or the courts, has 
scientifically proven pot has medicinal benefits.

The debate over its medical value is too highly politicized to go into 
here. However, just because something does not have a proven medical usage 
is no reason to arrest people who use it. Tobacco has no medicinal benefit, 
yet it is legal.

2. Marijuana's addictive.

We could also argue whether it is or not, but so what? Tobacco is 
addictive, yet legal.

3. It's a gateway drug.

The old logical fallacy "if before then because." As George Carlin said, 
"Mother's milk leads to EVERYTHING." Why are only the illegal drugs 
considered gateways? Sugar, beer, and caffeine are never cited as gateways, 
even though most people are exposed to them before they get to illegal drugs.

4. Marijuana use and possession would still be illegal on the federal level.

True. But no reason to make state officials complicit in the insanity.

5. Three ounces is not a small amount of marijuana.

There is no legal limit on the amount of alcohol or tobacco you can own, so 
why should there be any limit on the amount of cannabis you can own? Well, 
to ensure people aren't selling it, of course. But is there really still a 
thriving black market for alcohol, or did the 21st Amendment put an end to 

6. People aren't being arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana 

However, the police still have the power to arrest someone for it. People 
who smoke marijuana have a negative attitude towards people in the law 
enforcement profession, because they see them as the enemy. If the war on 
marijuana was over, the police would have a lot easier time interacting 
with the public.

7. It would still cost law enforcement a lot of money for prosecution of 
such things as driving under the influence, public use, selling or giving 
to children and others.

We ended alcohol prohibition, and the police still have to deal with people 
driving under the influence, public drunkenness, minors in possession, etc. 
But they no longer have to deal with catching bootleggers and investigating 
gangland wars over liquor turf.

Kendall M. Cox

Shorewood, Ill.

via e-mail 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth