An Oct. 28 letter to the Daily Herald advocated greater access to marijuana for people suffering chronic pain, citing a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). But if you visit the JAMA website and enter the search word "marijuana," you'll also see dozens of articles showing that marijuana can kill more than just pain: it can negatively impact things like cognitive function, moral clarity and the general health and well-being of users and their children and grandchildren.

Another recent letter in the Herald, this one in Carolyn Hax's advice column, highlighted marijuana as a killer of ambition. Hax's correspondent told about her 20-something boyfriend, a daily user of marijuana who, among other things, hadn't driven his own car in two years simply because he had lost his car keys! A question, dear reader: when you were 20-somelthing -- maybe you still are -- would you have given up driving your car even for two days, let along two years, just because you couldn't find your keys?

I'm writing this letter on the day before Halloween and can't help but wonder, as our nation rushes headlong toward allowing greater access to marijuana, are we in danger of producing endless generations of ambitionless, leisure-loving, mentally challenged zombies?

Let's urge our legislators to pass laws restricting -- not increasing -- access to this dangerous drug.

Bill Deckard