Pubdate: Thu, 21 Oct 2010
Source: Newton Tab (MA)
Copyright: 2010 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: John Madfis


Newton - Newton voters have a chance to send a message to Senator 
Creem on where her constituents stand on the question of marijuana 
legalization. Hopefully, voters will send a resounding message that 
it is time to sponsor a legalization measure in the state Senate to 
regulate the taxation, cultivation, and sale of marijuana to adults.

More than 40 million Americans either currently smoke marijuana or 
have smoked it in the past. These smokers have included political 
leaders such as President Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George Bush, 
Dan Quayle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Newt Gingrich and Michael 
Bloomberg; prominent business figures such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, 
Ted Turner and Richard Branson; illustrious people in the arts and 
entertainment such as Pablo Picasso, Steven King, Bob Dylan and 
Willie Nelson; and world-famous astronomer Carl Sagan. Would society 
have been better off if these illustrious people had faced criminal penalties?

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report with these findings:

Is marijuana addictive? "Few marijuana users develop dependence ... 
less likely to do so than users of nicotine and alcohol."

Does marijuana lead to harder drugs? "There is no evidence that 
marijuana serves as a stepping stone..."

Is marijuana more dangerous than tobacco? "Four times the amount of 
tar deposited in the lungs of tobacco smokers..."

Does marijuana cause cancer? "There is no conclusive evidence that 
marijuana causes cancer in humans..."

William F. Buckley, noted author and conservative pundit, had this to 
say, "Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the 
prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far 
more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."

John Madfis

Central Street
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