Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jun 2012
Source: Daily Reporter-Herald (Loveland, CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Daily Reporter-Herald
Author: James R. Ure


To the editor:

A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 61 percent of Coloradans favor
marijuana legalization. Amendment 64 would legalize and regulate
marijuana like alcohol. It makes sense considering marijuana, unlike
alcohol, doesn't cause overdoses, isn't physically addictive or a
contributor to violent behavior. How often have we heard about
domestic abuse stemming from alcohol? Often, yet violent crime induced
by marijuana use is extremely rare. When's the last time you heard
about someone abusing his wife after using marijuana? I can't think of
any since marijuana generally reduces aggression.

Nor is marijuana a "gateway drug" as most people use alcohol before
marijuana. Millions of people have used and currently use marijuana,
yet lead perfectly successful, normal lives. These are average,
law-abiding citizens who simply choose to use marijuana instead of
alcohol to unwind at the end of the day, in the privacy of their own
home. Besides, if marijuana was a "gateway drug" then everyone who has
ever tried or currently uses marijuana should be heroin addicts and
the evidence simply doesn't show such a correlation.

Ironically, legalization would go further to keeping marijuana from
teens than prohibition. By regulating marijuana like alcohol, we can
better control it. Currently, a drug dealer isn't going to ask your
teen for identification before selling them marijuana. If legalized,
that teen wouldn't even be able to enter the marijuana store without
showing proper identification. Plus, legal status would price out the
black market as the cost of marijuana would naturally decline. That
gives criminals little incentive to maintain an illegal marijuana operation.

Ending marijuana prohibition by voting for amendment 64 would also
provide extra tax dollars to fund schools, medical facilities and
other needy projects. In the end, this is about advocating for
personal freedom. Amendment 64 would restrict marijuana use in public
and ban driving while using it. So, if a marijuana user isn't
bothering anyone in the privacy of their own home, what business is it
of the federal government?

James R. Ure

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