Legal or Illegal: That is The Question 

Legal or Illegal: That is The Question 
Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2005 at 22:23:26 PT
Source: Post-Standard
New York -- Marijuana is illegal, some say, because it is a sinister drug. It serves as a "stepping stone" to more insidious drug use, preying on the young and immature. To others, marijuana is simply an indulgence, similar to alcohol, that is dangerous only when used to an extreme.Both sides cite scientific evidence to support their claims. Marijuana use has been traced back to 8,000 BC, and yet the debate continues: should marijuana be legal?
 YesDr. Gene Tinelli, 61, is a psychiatrist specializing in addiction and trauma. He has been an advocate for the legalization of marijuana for more than 20 years. So often you hear about the legal arguments for marijuana, but the real question is why do people use it? What does it do? Marijuana decreases stress, anger and aggression, including road rage. It will decrease human suffering, especially in people who have been traumatized. Marijuana is the fourth most commonly used drug behind caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. The DEA looked at a study of marijuana in 1988 and their administrative law judge Francis Young found and said that marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest, therapeutically active substances known to man. Can you imagine what the pharmaceutical companies would do if people started growing a plant to relieve stress? I don't want to see the pharmaceutical companies involved in marijuana. I do want to see them doing research on hemp products that might be useful as a therapeutic plant. There's no reason why this should not be a legal and relatively lightly regulated plant for Americans to use. Set an age, whatever, but as far as adult usage, it's a no-brainer. If it were legal you'd see a lot more people using it. Some of that would be artificial because people are using it that you know, but they would be more open about it. Seventy percent of accidents involving younger males involve road rage. I'd much rather people in gridlock be smoking a joint. It would be much more pleasant for everybody. There's nothing that marijuana does that's irreversible. Would I want to see people going around stoned all the time? No, I wouldn't. Plus that would get boring. I hold people responsible for their behavior no matter where their mind is. We need to be depressed sometimes. Sometimes bad moods are useful. If everybody smokes dope it would all be the same. I don't want to see people medicating life. Why are we wasting criminal justice resources on people who are smoking joints? All the recent studies have shown that you're wasting your time. No Michael Ferrante, 45, is a senior district attorney in Onondaga County. He is also supervisor of the narcotics bureau, and reviews dozens of local marijuana drug cases every week. I review all of our drug diversion cases and in 98.9 percent of them, people started out using marijuana and it leads them to a stronger addiction like crack. It's a gateway drug. I know people say all the time that it's not. But I look at 50 drug cases a week, and they all start out with marijuana. If you start smoking, you're eventually going to smoke enough that you're addicted, and then you're committing crimes to support your addiction, and that's where the problems come in. If you legalize it you're not going to get rid of the black market part of it. It's a multi-million dollar business. If you can get a good grow house, grow it year round and sell it year round, you can make millions of dollars. There's crime associated with the black market marijuana trade. Not as much with crack with shootings on the corners but we have instances where they break into people's houses they know are marijuana dealers. They want to steal their money and people get hurt. It's worth money and that's why everybody's into it. Plus if you legalize it I'm assuming New York state is going to want to put a tax on it and that's going to raise the price up. That will force people to the black market. The people charged with UPM (unlawful possession of marijuana), get dealt with in a 24-period. The ones that are going to a felony level are the dealers who posses marijuana in pounds, for dealing. That's where the money is and that's where we spend our attention. If you prosecute these people, hopefully you're going to prevent home invasions, which are violent crimes. You put manpower into it and there's a lot of benefits to the community. No, it will never be legal. Kids today can't even fathom that illegal drugs will be legal someday. That education will carry through. And most of the questions we get at neighborhood watch meetings are about drug and crack houses. So I don't think any politician would want to stand up and change the policy. Source: Post-Standard, The (NY)Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2005Copyright: 2005, Syracuse Post-StandardContact: letters syracuse.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #1 posted by Kozmo on April 21, 2005 at 08:20:54 PT
This DA is a moron
[quote]"If you legalize it you're not going to get rid of the black market part of it. It's a multi-million dollar business. If you can get a good grow house, grow it year round and sell it year round, you can make millions of dollars."[quote}By that logic, tomatoes should be worth about $100 per ounce. This moron doesn't seem to realize that PROHIBITION is the reason its worth "millions of dollars." Same old tired prohib illogic isn't it.
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