Pubdate: Sun, 10 Oct 2004
Source: Boston Globe Magazine, The (MA)
Copyright: 2004 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Gerry Pocock


In "Smoke Signals" (September 12), Lea Palleria
Cox states that "the government is there to protect us." This
statement can be either true or false, depending on what the
government is trying to protect us from. If it's from others who are
attempting to infringe on our "unalienable rights" as defined by the
Declaration of Independence, then the statement is  true. On the other
hand, if it's to stop people from doing what they want to do when that
act does not infringe on the rights of others, then the statement is
false. When the question is applied to Cox's statement, i.e, using
marijuana, Cox's statement is seen to be incorrect.

This does not necessarily invalidate her position that using marijuana
should be illegal.

The one aspect of the legalize-marijuana debate that is missing is 
what responsibilities the government has for people who are harmed by
using  marijuana.

If the government has no responsibilities, it cannot prevent people 
from using marijuana.

If the government has some responsibilities, then the  government has
a say.

Gerry Pocock
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