Pubdate: Tue, 23 Feb 2010
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2010 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Garry Cooper


I read with much interest Chico High School Principal Jim Hanlon's 
letter about his concerns about the legalization of marijuana and its 
effect on his high school students. I agree that its use by students 
causes motivation to plummet, truancy to increase, and other problems.

However, he must know that marijuana is now and always has been fully 
available to every student who wants it for many years before 
Proposition 215 was passed. Denying this would be untruthful.

What is needed, especially from well intentioned and caring people 
like Hanlon, is developing an approach to this problem that truly has 
the desired outcome.

First, we need to realize that pot is used by as many people that use 
alcohol and will continue as such for pain relief, stress relief and 
social recreation, and these people see it as within their rights to do so.

Secondly, we need to realize that the scarce funds in our government 
cannot continue to be wasted on failed policies, like the "drug war," 
and need to be focused on expanding after-school sports, arts and 
other positive activities.

We need to accept that we cannot keep drugs away from our children 
and can only keep our children away from drugs.

How about we unlock the cells of the pot offenders and dump the 
prison guard budget into our kids.

We need more Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, Girl Scouts, soccer, field trips 
and meaningful activities for our kids, not law enforcement.

- -- Garry Cooper, Durham
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom