Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jan 2003
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
Copyright: 2003 Columbia Daily Tribune
Author: Sarah Duff


Editor, the Tribune: This is a sample letter to the mayor urging him to 
vote yes on Proposition 1 on Tuesday.

Dear Mayor Darwin Hindman: I am writing to urge you to vote to 
decriminalize marijuana. There is nothing to fear by decriminalizing, 
because in the 11 states that have adopted this policy, use has remained 
the same. I recently read a Tribune letter to the editor where someone 
claimed that the ordinance would increase misdemeanor possession levels by 
700 percent. I know that our misdemeanor possession amount has been 35 
grams for more than 30 years, and the ordinance does nothing to change this 

Our city's police would be in a better position to arrest people for 
serious crimes such as driving while intoxicated, driving under the 
influence of drugs and other violent crimes if they did not have to spend 
so much time arresting people who experiment with marijuana. Most people do 
not know that after arresting people for misdemeanor marijuana offenses, 
police either give them a ticket or send them to jail. Our city also 
arrests seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana to treat diseases 
such as cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Some patients use medical 
marijuana to offset the nausea caused by medications.

Vote yes to decriminalize marijuana to encourage higher education, protect 
patients' human rights and to make Columbia a safer place.

Sarah Duff
15 N. Tenth St.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart