Pubdate: Thu, 21 Oct 2010
Source: Anniston Star (AL)
Copyright: 2010 Consolidated Publishing
Author: Stan Williams


Re "Effort to legalize marijuana bad news in U.S." (Op-ed article,
Oct. 14):

I think Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson is a fine, moral man, and
I take no issue with him personally. Amerson stated in his op-ed
article that while operating a jail he sees people who use drugs and
that marijuana makes them more divorced from normal society. Let's
examine that position realistically.

I agree that marijuana smokers often become more divorced from normal
society and that divorcing begins the day someone with a badge takes
him into custody. He goes to jail and he is labeled a criminal. As a
result, his family begins spending household money on bondsmen,
attorneys and court costs. His wife and children are most often forced
to turn to public assistance (food stamps, etc.), and taxpayers
suddenly have newfound dependants to support while the bondsmen and
attorneys get richer.

And what are we trying to prevent by continuing to arrest marijuana
users? Scientists tell us that smoked marijuana irritates the lining
of the respiratory passages and can lead to inflammation and
bronchitis. Pardon me! The illegality of marijuana has caused more
harm to this society than anything else associated with its use.

We are an evolving, progressive society. Let us emphasize to Sheriff
Amerson that our concern lies in the thieves and robbers who exist
among us and endanger our welfare, and not inflammation and bronchitis.

Stan Williams

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