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posted: 2/21/2014 12:01 AM

Do we need another 'not as bad' drug?

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Do we need another 'not as bad' drug?

In the Feb. 14 edition of the Daily Herald, Walt Zlotow has suggested that we have one more "item left on the agenda: legalize pot." I am sure we need more education on the issues when I read that Mr. Zlotow believes "marijuana is not addictive and has no proven health hazards." Surely, not as deadly as heroin or destructive as alcohol, but do we really need one more "not as bad" drug?

There will be a certain percentage of people who will be unable to control their marijuana use. Surprise, pot can be addictive, complete with physical withdrawal symptoms. If you want to hang on to the old idea that the addiction is "only" psychological does it really matter, since the bottom line is an inability to control use. Are we willing to lose those people?

Restricting the sale of marijuana to those older than 18 won't help when their parents, who think it isn't addictive or harmful, buy it for them and smoke it with them.

It will take decades to research today's stronger pot to conclude positively that marijuana causes many of the same ailments as smoking cigarettes. Pot and cigarette smoke contain many of the same toxins. A joint a day is a general immune suppressant leaving the door open for respiratory illness, infection and cancer. Can't we use a little common sense instead of waiting another 20 years for concrete data? We have enough evidence now. Once a drug has free reign in society there is no turning back.

These comments will be extremely difficult to comprehend for those who have smoked pot without consequence. A person who knows someone, or has a family member, who has a problem controlling marijuana use could have written this article; they get it.

Cheryle Ruceis

Glen Ellyn

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