Pubdate: Sat, 17 Jan 2009
Source: News-Journal (Mansfield, OH)
Copyright: 2009 News-Journal.
Author: Stan White


One benefit of decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis (marijuana) that
doesn't get
mentioned (Letter: Time to Decriminalize Marijuana Is Now, Jan. 12) is its
potential to
lower deadly hard drug addiction rates.

Lower addiction rates will come from more honest drug awareness
programs which will make it difficult to brainwash students into
believing lies, half-truths and propaganda concerning the relatively
safe, socially acceptable, God-given plant cannabis. Youth who become
adults will be taught the truth; cannabis is not nearly as dangerous
as honest hard drugs.

How many citizens try cannabis and realize it's not nearly as harmful
as taught in DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) type government
environments? Then they think other substances must not be so bad
either, only to become addicted to deadly drugs. The old lessons make
cannabis out to be among the worst substances in the world, even
though it's never killed a single person.

The federal government even classifies cannabis as a Schedule I
substance along with heroin, while methamphetamine and cocaine are
only Schedule II substances. For the health and welfare of America's
children and adults, that message absolutely must change.

It would also help citizens avoid hard drugs if cannabis were
completely re-legalized. Then it would be available from regulated
businesses so people do not often come in contact with sellers of hard

Further, cannabis also has a history of helping people escape hard
drug addictions, which helps lower hard drug addiction rates.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.
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