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Reefer madness’ is insalubrious

Letter to the Editor | Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Ben Linskey’s “Reefer Madness” (Feb. 19), he argues that weed is not addictive, does not cause serious health problems, does not adversely affect the population and is a far less dangerous drug than alcohol.

I come from San Diego, one of the most pot-infested cities on the map. I have numerous friends who have battled their drug addictions, and oftentimes they’ll tell me that their Dad still hasn’t kicked the habit of smoking pot. The most unsafe I’ve ever felt in a car was when I was a passenger in a car where the driver was getting stoned. For all of Linskey’s noble opposition to drinking and driving, I would go further and say that smoking pot and driving is just as bad – impaired reaction time and altered perception being chief concerns.

Linskey’s assertion that weed is harmless is incorrect. One needs only to Google-search “harmful effects of marijuana” to find the medical consensus on its adverse effects. There’s also a concept I taught when I was an anti-drug counselor back in San Diego for three years: amotivational syndrome – that a pothead loses his or her motivation to participate in everyday activities: sports, classes, relationships.

Some people say that smoking pot is natural because it is of the Earth, but should we be breathing in the fumes of a bonfire, if that is also “of the Earth?” Anytime a person inhales smoke, they are doing damage to their body – on both a microscopic level and a holistic level.

When I evaluate a person’s argument, I look for areas where a person uses hyperbole, or conversely, euphemisms. Linskey tells of how the government is holding it’s war on drugs because marijuana is deemed “insalubrious.” Please! Call the drug was it is; and don’t downplay the harmful effects of pot.

Linskey’s ideal of drug users keeping it in the home does not often occur in actuality. One of my former good friends back home in San Diego keeps on getting arrested, not for smoking, but for repeatedly trying to break into liquor stores – a very half-baked idea.

Furthermore, Linskey is wrong in his belief that “you have no right to dictate to your neighbor what he may do within the confines of his home.” Obviously the government has the right to intercede in cases of slavery, rape, abuse, etc., and all these cases occur in the confines of a home.

I’ll agree that the governmental war on drugs isn’t going well – but how much worse off would we be without it? There are untold and unknown numbers of how many more people would do drugs if we weren’t as educated about the subject as we are today. We are the product of an education system that really showed us how bad drugs are.

For all the readers out there that had considered trying weed but ultimately decided against it, you are the reason why the War on Drugs is, on some level, effective.

Daniel Tostado


Dillon Hall

Feb. 19