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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 27, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Decriminalizing marijuana

Forgetting the auxiliary pain

So, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, wants to have the police issue parking tickets for small amounts of marijuana use. Seattle Times’ Editorial Columnist Lance Dickie [“Ticket, not jail time, for small amounts of marijuana,” Feb. 20] is all for it – great leadership!

Let’s blow a little weed and forget about the auxiliary pain it causes. Let’s forget that decriminalizing it will lead to increased consumption. And, more consumption will lead to more and more gang violence.

Let’s forget the fact that whole families, police, prosecutors and others in Mexico are being slaughtered because of drugs.

Not that I am for it, but if we must decriminalize marijuana, let’s at least go all the way. Let’s have the drug grown legally in Washington, taxed and sold in a controlled environment.

Stop the hypocrisy, Kohl-Welles, Rep. Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, and Dickie. Recognize that there are consequences of feel-good legislation.

— Larry Hughes, SeaTac

Tax dollars no longer drained on drugs

For minors, tobacco and alcohol use is against the law. They still do it. Marijuana use is illegal for everyone, yet it is believed to be California’s number-one cash crop.

Why must we accept spending billions of dollars punishing people for smoking pot? It’s no more harmful than smoking tobacco. It has been proven categorically to be safer than drinking alcohol.

No one has ever died from smoking too much weed.

People who choose to abuse hard drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, are going to do so regardless of whether or not they also smoke mary-jane.

Marijuana is not a so-called “gateway” drug. It was criminalized many decades ago to persecute blacks and Latinos, and, to this day, they are more likely to be jailed for it than whites.

We should not legalize marijuana because we cannot afford the police, court, and jail time. It should be legalized because there are much more important things to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on. California state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano has announced legislation to tax and regulate marijuana use, which could bring in up to $1 billion per year.

For all the parents who think their kids won’t smoke pot because it is illegal, think again. The only reason your kids won’t smoke pot is because you taught them that it is the wrong thing for them to do and they actually listen to you.

— Gene Davis, Lake Forest Park

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