Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jan 2009
Source: Times, The (Trenton, NJ)
Copyright: 2009 The Times
Author: Allan Erickson


I write to respond to Gregory J. Sullivan's column about the 
legalization of marijuana for compassionate use, "Compassionate, but 
still illegal"(Dec. 30, 2008).

Mr. Sullivan says that the "law has a distinct pedagogical function, 
and New Jersey and other states are using it to convey, to say the 
least, a confusing message."

If the law has a pedagogical function, then it should be based on 
reality, right? Long before the Controlled Substances Act, we have 
the foundations of marijuana's prohibition. I believe those laws were 
enacted through manufactured horror stories and perjured testimony 
before Congress.

In such a context, there is no confusing message. The message is 
simple: Humanity has used marijuana as food, fiber, medicine, 
religion and yes, recreation, far longer than we have recorded our 
history. Lies do not trump a solid "grandfather clause."

The message is that we don't follow lies as policy. I'm not sure 
whether such a message is more a thumbing of the nose or an act of 
intentional civil disobedience against the fallacious federal 
prohibition of marijuana. At least the Prohibition (of alcohol) was 
legally established and legally ended.

- -- ALLAN ERICKSON, Eugene, Ore.
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