Pubdate: Fri, 08 Apr 2005
Source: Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Copyright: 2005 The Anchorage Daily News
Author: Dave Swarthout
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


I oppose Senate Bill 74 (and House Bill 96), a bill that will significantly 
stiffen the penalties for possession of marijuana.

I know many of you have friends who are recreational users of this 
relatively harmless drug, and some of you may know of the powerful 
anti-nausea effects it exerts for people undergoing chemotherapy. Should 
this bill become law, many productive and responsible citizens would become 
felons overnight.

As if that weren't enough, the bill's text is full of assumptions and 
outright falsehoods.

The bill is literally filled with assertions like this one: "A person who 
smokes several marijuana cigarettes a week may be taking in as many 
cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of tobacco 
cigarettes every day." There is no source given for this outrageous 
conclusion. Or this: "There is evidence that it has addictive properties 
similar to heroin." This is the kind of information the U.S. government 
invented when it first criminalized marijuana use decades ago. Fortunately, 
we now know that this is simply not the way people act when using marijuana.

Why do so many Alaskans use marijuana? Because people refuse to obey an 
unjust law no matter the penalty. And people won't allow the Legislature to 
control reasonable and responsible behavior in the privacy of their own homes.

Please oppose this misguided and unconstitutional assault on our privacy.

- ---- Dave Swarthout

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