Letters to the Editor

Decriminalized marijuana

The decriminalization of marijuana will encourage some who want it for medical purposes to go outside the system and risk paying a $200 fine instead of going through the red tape laden and not inexpensive process of getting approved for state issued medical marijuana. The editorial board makes a valid point there. The ease of access to legal medical marijuana needs to be improved.

But the real problem lies in their apparent belief that marijuana use is a “sin” at all, certainly one that’s on par with gambling, prostitution, and the use of nicotine which is a drug devoid of any redeemable qualities. I recommend some firsthand experience with the drug the editorial board demonized. Perhaps they’ll find its responsible use, and the physical and perceptual changes that accompany it, has value, if not for themselves then certainly — if they possess any combination of imagination and empathy — for others.

Decriminalization will expand the market, that’s clearly true. The solution to that problem is just as clear: obliterate the black market by legalizing the drug and flooding the legitimate market with product. What’s the worst that could happen? Marijuana-related crime will disappear. The food service industry will boom and instances of road rage will decrease precipitously. That doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Lastly, to suggest that marijuana users won’t care about “little kids becoming collateral damage” is asinine, shameful.

Dan Gruchala, Belleville

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