Pubdate: Tue, 29 Nov 2016
Source: Penticton Herald (CN BC)
Copyright: 2016 The Okanagan Valley Group of Newspapers
Author: Mark Billesberger
Page: A7


Dear Editor: This is in response to the letter entitled "Once addicted, 
addicted for life" by Ralph Wand of Penticton (Herald, Nov. 28).

Judging by his letter, I would only have to guess that Mr. Wand is
completely ignorant and uneducated when it comes to marijuana. I have
many friends past and present who smoke pot and have never ever tried
anything more potent in the form of chemical drugs.

Let's substitute "booze" for "pot" in his letter for a second. Here

"To get a buzz after drinking beer for a while a bigger buzz is
wanted. To get a bigger buzz, hard liquor is needed." Maybe booze is
legal, but the big question is, should it be?

Alcoholism has been known to have side effects such as aggressive
behaviour, bar fights, stabbings, shootings, relationship break-ups,
deaths and injuries from impaired drivers, cirrhosis of the liver, and
in extreme cases, loss of home and all other assets.

On the other hand, pot has only five possible side effects; of course
smoking anything can leave you open for lung cancer, but you can get
that from inhaling second-hand barbeque smoke. The other side effects
leave you feeling non-aggressive, happy, hungry, and horny. Now which
one makes more sense for the public to be allowed to use? Sounds like
a no-brainer to me. The City now apparently wants to review the policy
for dispensaries as well, citing Lynn Allin as saying: "The Downtown
Penticton Association cannot endorse or support the illegal use,
temporary or otherwise of any retail space in downtown Penticton"
(Herald, Nov. 28).

To Ms. Allin I ask that considering the fact that pot will be legal in
a few months, is it really worth causing these businesses a logistical
nightmare by making them close their doors and relocate? Is it worth
the job losses that will be incurred if the shops are closed down?

Some folks out there need to get with the times. This is an issue that
is not going to go away, regardless of whether or not you agree; so
please accept what is going on and move ahead. People are going to use
it anyways, so why not take it out of the hands of the criminals?

Personally I think the marijuana business when fully legal will have
huge potential to lower our unemployment rate significantly.

Mark Billesberger

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MAP posted-by: Matt