Letters to the Editor

Alcohol bigger culprit for many

My letter is in response to Ralph Givens letter of Jan. 19, 2011. In it he argues that current laws are outdated and a result of past lies, hysteria and prejudice created by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, specifically Director Harry J. Anslinger.

I agree that simple possession of small amounts of marijuana should not warrant a jail sentence. Perhaps a fine would be sufficient as long as you’re in your own home and not behind the wheel of an auto, etc. Legalization is another matter. Let me explain why I think not.

I started smoking marijuana along with my 1960s-era peer group at age 13. We got used to daily smoking and there was a direct correlation between that and our grades in school taking a nose dive. Many of us dropped out. Then we added a myriad of other drugs, slowly working our way to hard drugs. Marijuana was a gateway drug for all of us. Do you want to smoke safe? Here’s what happened to me:

• My emotional growth stopped at age 13 because I tried to smoke away all my problems rather than to solve them.

• My spiritual growth ceased. My life definitely wasn’t matching up with God’s intention for me.

• I did many stupid things while stoned and was high much of the time while driving.

• I blew large amounts of money on marijuana.

• I had chronic bronchitis.

• I began slurring my speech even on days when I had to work and didn’t smoke. I also had memory lapses.

• I became paranoid at times when high.

• My friends and I were growing up with little ambition and used drugs as a solution to life’s problems rather than facing them head-on and learning to become responsible adults.

About 30 years ago, I went through marijuana withdrawal treatment and have been abstinent since. Four of my dear friends and a sister-in-law were not as fortunate and are now deceased as the result of drug use. They didn’t start out as dope addicts; they just descended the rungs that led to the grave. Rung number one? Marijuana.

Go ahead and toke up, Mr. Givens. But please don’t try and promote marijuana as something it isn’t or you’re just as bad as Anslinger, circa 1930. Our kids have enough problems as it is.

P.S. If you’re sitting on a barstool drinking a highball please don’t complain to anyone about drug abuse. Alcohol far outweighs any other drug in terms of damage done to mankind.

Greg Sender


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