Michael He’s scathing editorial of Scott Jeffrey’s stance on the legalization of marijuana is completely absurd and unfounded. I am not a supporter of Scott Jeffrey but I do support the legalization of marijuana for the reasons he gives and many others.Jeffery is completely correct in saying that the over 20 million marijuana smokers in this country do not deserve to go to jail, lose their jobs, or lose their federal student aid for that matter. Mr. He is also correct in saying that just because people take hits from the bong that doesn’t make it legal. The problem with Mr. He’s argument is that just because a law is passed doesn’t guarantee that it is moral, just, or right for society. We the American people have the right to debate and reject any law as we see fit. In the past it was illegal for women to vote. I suppose Mr. He believes that Susan B. Anthony should have been thrown in jail and that all attempts at social change should be completely suppressed. As far as comparing smoking reefer to committing murder, that is completely ridiculous. Puffing the magic dragon does not affect anyone but the person puffing it where as murder is a horrible violent crime with massive repercussions to the victim and society.Jeffery’s statement that “Marijuana is less harmful than either alcohol or tobacco, both to the user and society” has been cause for much debate. If we look at the health risks of smoking tobacco versus those of smoking weed there is evidence to support either side as worse. The beauty of pot is that the actual drug, THC, found in the cannabis plant is non-toxic and ingesting it orally as well as smoking it can generate its effects. So the whole issue of health risks from toking up can be avoided. This cannot be said for alcohol, which kills 50,000 people per year, or tobacco, which causes 400,000 deaths each year.The final point I would like to touch on is the opinion of many including Jeffrey that legalizing ganja will decrease its rate of use among minors. It has been shown by countless studies that it is much easier for minors to obtain pot than tobacco or alcohol. This is because there is a system in place by the government to regulate their sale. A similar system does not exist for chronic. A minor can just walk out on the street and purchase a sack of dank nuggets without any restrictions. If marijuana were legalized the government could regulate its sale and make it possible for responsible adults to purchase it from a safe legal source there by getting it off the streets and out of our children’s hands. Not to mention eliminating other problems presently associated with marijuana prohibition such as crime, corruption, and violence. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a dumb pothead.For more information please visit the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws website at www.norml.org

Alan Carlisleac001i@mail.rochester.edu473-6081

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