Pubdate: Wed, 30 Jul 2014
Source: Signal, The (Santa Clarita, CA)
Copyright: 2014 Richard Myers
Author: Richard Myers


There is no doubt that the legalization of marijuana is gaining favor
throughout the country, and I have to say that I am for it - but with
some very strong reservations.

I'm for it because legalization should reduce crime between warring
peddlers, raise revenue for cities or states, reduce the number of
inmates in our overcrowded prisons, be a medical benefit for many and,
finally, let adults enjoy a relaxing high.

I have two reservations: One is that driving under the influence
should be dealt with even stronger than we now deal with drunken drivers.

A marijuana high distorts the perception of time and

A true story, told by comic Orson Bean when he was on the Johnny
Carson show, illustrates the point: He was driving on a New England
causeway and was stopped by the police.

"What's the problem?" he asked the officer.

"Well," replied the officer, "how fast do you think you were

"I feel certain that I wasn't going much over 65," Bean

"We had you clocked at 15 miles per hour," said the

Anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence of
marijuana is a great danger to himself and anyone else on the same

My second reservation has to do with those under 18 years of age.
There must be strong controls to keep pot out of the hands of youngsters.

Adults with an addictive personality might have problems dealing with
it, but because they are adults they would have a chance of handling
it. Youngsters have no chance.

The marijuana high becomes the everyday desire. Pot and being with
druggie friends becomes everything. No interest in school or anything

It's a tragedy in the making, and as a retired teacher I've witnessed
it first hand.

Ask parents who are suffering through it, watching their child in the
process of ruining his or her potential and feeling helpless to put a
stop to it.

So, if marijuana becomes legal, it should come with strong protective

Richard Myers Valencia 
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