Pubdate: Tue, 15 Oct 2013
Source: Boston Herald (MA)
Copyright: 2013 The Boston Herald, Inc
Note: Prints only very short LTEs.
Author: Paul Armentano


Dr. Robert Petrella argues in the Herald that marijuana isn't 
"harmless" ("Don't let the genie out of the bag," Oct. 6). Those of 
us who advocate for a regulated, above-ground cannabis market agree. 
However, concerns about relatively limited health risks do not 
validate the substance's continued criminalization. Just the 
opposite. There are numerous adverse health consequences associated 
with alcohol, tobacco, and prescription pharmaceuticals - and it's 
precisely because of these consequences that these products are 
legally regulated and their use is restricted to particular consumers 
and specific settings.

Similarly, a pragmatic regulatory framework that allows for the 
legal, licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to 
adults but restricts its use among young people - coupled with a 
legal environment that fosters open, honest dialogue between parents 
and children about cannabis' potential harms - best reduces the risks 
associated with the plant's use or abuse.

- - Paul Armentano,

Washington, D.C. The writer is deputy director of the National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
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