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Local Editorials

I say ‘No’ to legalizing pot

I can only speak from my own experience. In my opinion marijuana should not be legalized. The last thing we need is another get-high drug with questionable medical benefits.

This is my experience: I smoked a lot of pot. I used it as an alternative to alcohol which had disastrous effects on me. I found that with pot I didn’t have black outs, I didn’t have hangovers, and I could get high without getting in trouble. No problem.

The problem was I was getting high every day, I was compromising my family’s finances, and I was getting a lot less accomplished. One more thing: my appetite was way out of control when I was high.

When I was told that I was smoking too much pot, my reply was that at least I wasn’t getting drunk. Marijuana in itself may not be addictive, but the need for escape, the high, which marijuana provides, is.

Of course, marijuana at the time I’m talking about (the ’70s and ’80s), was very illegal. Therefore, it could be, at times, hard to get.

What happened was, during a dry spell — a time when pot was not available — in order to get the high I thought I needed, I turned to my old friend (enemy), alcohol.

In a matter of days, I became a slobbering drunk, and almost died.

Proponents of legalizing marijuana argue that marijuana is not a gateway drug. In my case, it most assuredly was. These same proponents might argue that, if marijuana was legalized, it would be readily available and I wouldn’t have had to turn to another drug. 

Let me be perfectly clear on this point: for me, life with any mood-altering substance can be disastrous. The last thing I need is to catch the drift of marijuana smoke in the air while out walking Holly Dog.

Proponents also argue that if marijuana was legalized, it could be controlled, and taxed, like cigarettes. Please, God, not another legal, taxable, killer.

With regard to the pain-relieving benefits of marijuana — I have never experienced such. In fact, my experience was the exact opposite. Pain was sharpened or heightened by the use of marijuana. 

However, I have read some pretty convincing accounts claiming that only marijuana brought relief from the pain of such-and-such condition. If this is so, and I believe it may be, well, let the FDA classify it as such — but not for conditions like a chronic carbuncle.

I do know a person with a prescription for medical marijuana. This person tells me that in prescription form, marijuana is much higher quality, and the selection is broader. As compared to “ditch weed,” where you take what you can get, prescription marijuana is a much better product.

You can get the kind that motivates rather than demotivates. You can get the kind for pain relief — different varieties for different ailments. You can get the kind that helps you relax and rest, or sleep better. And you can get the kind that doesn’t make you eat the house down.

I must admit, this all sounds pretty good. But once again, this is a matter for the Food and Drug Administration, not the general public voting on the legalization of a street drug.

After all, it’s called “weed” for a reason.

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