TO THE EDITOR:
written by Jessica Franke to the Ripon Press newspaper.
I agree that our country and our world are in turmoil, and that there is serious work to be done.
However, I do not believe that fear gives us the right to take rights away from people who have not personally done anything harmful to our society, to other citizens, or to themselves.
It is possible for a recreational or medical marijuana smoker to be a productive and hard working member of society. Just like all drinkers are not drunk drivers, all cannabis users are not lazy people.
I think it’s quite unfair to paint all marijuana users with the same brush.
If you would like to get “real”, let’s discuss people who abuse alcohol and tobacco. The only purpose of drinking alcohol and smoking nicotine is to get high. In order to do so, you need more and more as time goes on.
Both substances, while legal, are highly addictive, and are responsible for many deaths each year. Marijuana, by contrast, does not cause lung cancer, treats nausea, depression, and many other illnesses, has caused zero deaths, EVER, and does not cause people to act violently, just for starters.
I’ve heard all of the myths about beer or wine being good for you, perpetuated by people who want to justify their drinking, and as an ex-cigarette-smoker, I can tell you that the withdrawl process from nicotine is the worst thing I have ever experienced, unlike quitting marijuana, which is as simple as not doing it.
Most marijuana users are not using it daily – they may enjoy it on a Saturday night much like everyone else enjoys a glass of wine or a few beers.
You aren’t even hung over in the morning after smoking marijuana – you can get up and GO the next morning!
Yet, people won’t listen to the facts about cannabis because they are too afraid to discuss such a controversial subject. I think that we need to open a public dialogue on the topic and educate people so they can make a rational decision based on facts, rather than simply spouting the same tired old myths and propaganda.
In addition to being a question of public health and public safety, this is also a question of civil liberties. True freedom takes courage. How can we call ourselves the land of the free and the home of the brave unless we bravely allow everyone to be free?
Please enjoy your freedom, and don’t forget to defend not only your own freedoms, but the freedoms of all of your fellow Americans. As Abraham Lincoln said: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves”.
Tax this plant, regulate it, and perhaps it will do for us what ending alcohol prohibition did for the Great Depression. At the very least, it will give our farmers a crop to grow whose DNA is not patented by the seed companies, as well as create other types of jobs related to farming, processing, transporting, equipment manufacturing, and more.
I can’t believe that a crop which our founding fathers grew, and which was vital to our progress as a nation until 1937, is so hated and feared – it’s only a plant! What are you so afraid of?
You may also find this letter to the editor on the Website of Ripon Commonwealth Press at: http://www.riponpress.com/main.asp?SectionID=11&SubSectionID=29&ArticleID=1300&TM=72668.41
and in the July 15th Edition of the newspaper.