Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 Source: Billings Gazette, The (MT) Copyright: 2011 The Billings Gazette Contact: http://billingsgazette.com/app/contact/?contact=letter Website: http://www.billingsgazette.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/515 Author: Emily Corbridge LET'S LEARN FACTS ABOUT MARIJUANA I understand that when we voted for medical marijuana, we imagined that it would be prescribed at the hospital and available at a pharmacy. We may not like the business conduct in this new industry, but the baseline is that use of marijuana is akin to coffee drinking. Other prescription drugs are a deadly understudy in this state. More shocking than the way people conduct their caregiving businesses is the massive waste of time, money, and lives spent prosecuting marijuana crimes. The insistence upon treating it as a danger by keeping it illegal may be the root issue in its appeal to teenagers. Illegal pot dealing would become obsolete in the face of legitimate, regulated pot dealing, placing it further out of the reach of youth. I'm shocked by the amount of energy that people are putting into watching, reporting and framing the entrepreneurs in this business who have been labeled as "greedy," "criminal" or "neglectful" to name a few. Meanwhile no one will bat an eye as Grand Avenue in Billings has turned into casino row. Perhaps marijuana shops should exist outside of the medical clause so people don't perceive a fraudulent facade, but mostly I urge Montanans to learn the facts about this substance before they get scared and cry out for repeal. We could make this work. Emily Corbridge Billings - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.