Pubdate: Fri, 28 Sep 2012
Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)
Copyright: 2012 The Gazette
Author: Tommy Latham


Concerning the Point/Counterpoint opinion on Amendment 64 (Sept. 23),
it's fascinating to read how two conservatives present medical
marijuana from polarized points of view. I disagree with Tom Tancredo
and John Suthers for different reasons.

Tancredo's argument for the legalization of marijuana in Colorado is
based on the failed alcohol prohibition of the 1920s, state's rights,
and tax revenue profits. Suthers' argument for the restriction of
medical marijuana is based on the supposed harm of the drug, as well
the majority opinion of various professionals against it.

The funniest comment in Suthers' argument against medical cannabis, or
the way he said it is: "Amendment 64 would make it legal for anyone
21-years or older to possess and consume up to one ounce of marijuana
- - equal to about 60 joints or eight pans of marijuana-laced brownies."
I mean, really, the best stoners I know can only do about 2-3 joints
before they are couch-locked, let alone toking 60 or even eating 8
pans of brownies! But, even then, you wouldn't die from a marijuana
overdose, like you do from alcohol poisoning. Suthers says that "67%
of kids are in drug rehab from marijuana abuse." As an attorney, he
knows that a marijuana offense or conviction almost automatically will
send the young offender to rehab because of court order, not because
of an "addiction problem." To use his own expression, I think he "is
blowing smoke!"

Factually, I could tolerate Tancredo's position much better than
Suthers' misrepresentation of cannabis as a dangerous and addictive
drug. Personally, I doubt that the majority of people will vote to
legalize marijuana. However, why don't we at least have federal
movement toward decriminalizing it, instead of demonizing it? It's
still classified as a Schedule I drug for goodness sake. If marijuana
is of no value and so addictively dangerous, then why does our
government permit companies to make Marinol and nabilone which is pure
THC for chemo/nausea patients? The anti-cannabis statistics that
Suthers quotes are so diametrically opposed to the positive facts and
recent pro-data on medical marijuana that no wonder the public is
confused. If you or someone you know has been helped with medical
cannabis, then vote for Amendment 64.

Tommy Latham

Colorado Springs
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt