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The Straight Dope
Ban booze, not pot: It's high time (literally) we make marijuana legal ("I Pot FL," Francisco Alvarado, October 7). I support it! My brother lives in California and is already reaping the benefits of growing his own for personal use. I know people who have severe pain, cannot sleep, cannot eat, anxiety, etc. Alcohol is what should be illegal.
Gone to pot: We must not legalize marijuana — even if it would eliminate more than 60 percent of cartel revenue and end their incentive and ability to continue murdering innocent people! We must keep arresting 850,000 people a year for marijuana offenses even though, after 40 years of prohibition, marijuana use went up 8 percent last year and 6,000 people a day start smoking it for the first time. We taxpayers will keep paying $40 billion a year for the prohibition because we all get so much good back from it that it's irrelevant that it doesn't stop people using marijuana and that it draws drug dealers into our communities to meet the demand. The prohibition must last forever!
Weed 'em out: Marijuana is prohibited by federal laws, and federal laws are to be obeyed everywhere in the U.S.A., except for people who show proof of use in medical care. People who don't want to obey the federal laws of this nation should be punished or get out of the U.S., damn it!
Exodus: If marijuana becomes legal in California and remains illegal in Florida, how many people do you think would move there? In addition to the lost opportunity for the state to gain tax revenues and decrease jail and policing costs, I think Florida stands to lose many taxpaying residents to California.
I forgot, dude: I am surprised the guys trying to decriminalize marijuana in Miami Beach have time between bags of Doritos and watching Road Runner cartoons to circulate a petition. Pot makes people unproductive and unmotivated. It's also not that hot on your memory.
Pushing alcohol: Marijuana is far safer than alcohol and should be treated that way. No one in the history of mankind has overdosed and died from marijuana, but unfortunately many, many people die every year from alcohol use. Alcohol is far more frequently associated with acts of violence, including sexual assault and domestic abuse. Marijuana is not. By punishing adults who make the rational choice to use a safer substance than alcohol, we are driving people to use alcohol for their recreation.
Stoned nation: Do we want motor vehicle drivers of all stripes on the road while under the influence of pot? Do you want dopers taking care of the elderly in nursing homes? But then again, it's all about the dough coming into community coffers and to heck with society at large. We've succeeded in dumbing down our youngsters in poor schools. Now they can become upstanding citizens peddling dope.
High road: Dude, people are driving high all around you. They're the ones driving at or below the speed limit, not swerving in and out of lanes, and smiling when you cut them off. Give me a stoned driver rather than a drunk or angry driver any day!
Light up: If Florida legalized marijuana, I would start smoking again. The only reason I don't is because it's illegal and I don't do illegal things. Besides, my wife might just accept this if I tell her: "But honey, it's legal now." So if I buy, the tax would help the state, so I'm all for it.
Cure-all: There is no other substance, including man-made medicine, that has as many potential benefits for a vast number of illnesses. There are literally dozens of ailments that marijuana can help alleviate, whereas now you need different prescriptions for each ailment.
Tune in: Legalize it. Tax it. Regulate it. Control it. Cannabis legalization is happening. It's just a question of how many lives and tax dollars will be wasted before it's done. Some vested interests, of course, will fight change until the bitter end. Progress has never been accepted by everyone. To those who are still ignorant enough to support prohibition: Google "marijuana myths"; learn the truth. And to those who think all stoners are hippie losers: Open your eyes to reality.