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posted: 8/22/2011 5:00 AM

Consider the benefits of legal cannabis

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My heart goes out to the family of the young man who died after his car crashed when he was under the influence of a synthetic substance, but your editorial missed an opportunity to highlight the main reason these substances are on the market to begin with. If cannabis were legal there would be a smaller market for these synthetic substances because currently alcohol is basically the only intoxicating substance that is legal.

I enjoy reading the Daily Herald but sometimes it baffles me how an editorial can call for more regulation while applauding efforts to make something illegal. Banning a substance doesn't increase the regulations on it, it takes away all government regulations by creating an illegal underground market where distributors and consumers are criminals and have no methods for purity evaluations, no mechanisms for dispute resolutions -- and people don't call 911 for help because it is illegal.

Cannabis is very safe, a DEA law judge ruled that; 16 states allow doctors to recommend cannabis and there has not been one overdose fatality ever. It is a plant that has been stigmatized through propaganda by our government in an effort to keep the war on drugs chugging along, at the same time our freedoms and liberties are being eroded. How does it make sense that in a "free" country like America people cannot grow this plant on their property if they want?

The war on drugs is dangerous for many reasons, but one is that it lumps all drugs together as bad due to their illegality, and once people experiment, usually with cannabis, they realize that cannabis is not the evil weed they were told and then they don't head warnings on the truly dangerous substances.

Dan Linn