Pubdate: Thu, 25 Apr 2002
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2002 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


In his April 24 letter to the editor, "Terror is no excuse to toke," Robert 
Knight rails against pot smoking "[i]n the interests of preserving liberty."

Apparently, "liberty" in Mr. Knight's mind means big government controlling 
what citizens ingest and the continuation of punitive drug policies that 
have given the "land of the free" the dubious distinction of having the 
highest incarceration rate in the world. The drawbacks to drug use that Mr. 
Knight describes are far more relevant to alcohol than pot.

I personally know alcoholics who have turned their lives around by putting 
down the bottle and picking up the marijuana pipe. Granted, they still may 
have a substance-abuse problem, but at least they can get out of bed in the 
morning without a hangover and lead productive lives. Nor do they run the 
risk of drinking themselves to death. It is not possible to consume enough 
marijuana to die from an overdose.

Given that there always will be a small segment of the population with a 
predisposition toward drug use, it only makes sense for the least harmful 
recreational drug to be made available. If Mr. Knight doesn't like 
marijuana, he shouldn't smoke it. The millions of Americans who prefer 
marijuana to martinis do so with good reason. The plant is a healthy 
alternative to alcohol.

In the interests of preserving liberty (and tax dollars), the war on some 
drugs has got to end.


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