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Legalize marijuana — but with restrictions

Posted: July 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.

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 space.

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 going?”

“I feel certain that I wasn’t going much over 65,” Bean answered.

“We had you clocked at 15 miles per hour,” said the officer.

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

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 else.

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 laws.



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