Pubdate: Wed, 12 May 2010 Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA) Copyright: 2010 The Eagle-Tribune Contact: http://www.eagletribune.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/129 Author: Eleanor White TIME TO CONSIDER LEGALIZING POT, HASH To the editor: Perhaps it is time for New Hampshire and/or Massachusetts to seriously consider legalizing marijuana and hashish for adult consumption. Doing so could have a more positive than negative impact and less harmful social and individual ramifications than currently legal vices like alcohol, cigarettes and gambling. Legalizing these two by-products of the hemp plant would require courage on the part of legislators willing to bring it up in the certainty of moral outrage by some, as well as debate and testimony by experts, etc. And I am sure they would never be approved without some regulation for safety, purity, etc. But if legalized, they could provide a lucrative economic opportunity for entrepreneurs to "open shop" and sell imported or domestic varieties, increase state revenue, free law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes, and reduce our prison population (the highest per capita in the world). Alcohol is by far more dangerous, and people can and will continue to become addicted to anything palliative, unfortunately. However, for most individuals it is all about choice, and for the state it should be about pragmatism. Personally, I don't need any more vices than I've had. Eleanor White Derry, N.H.