Re "State needs to legalize pot" (Letters, Feb. 3): Here is a note of caution to people advocating the legalization of marijuana. Be careful what you wish for. With legalization, will come vastly expanded access, especially among the most vulnerable - our high school and college-aged kids.
Marijuana use does lead to experimentation with stronger, more dangerous drugs. Moreover, mental health professionals will tell you that for anyone with a susceptibility to mental illness, drug use - especially marijuana - is an express train straight to mental illness.
This state will see a massive jump in mental illness cases, including psychotic outbreaks and violent episodes. Californians will find themselves faced with the need to provide constant care for droves of disturbed, non-productive young people, chronically incapable of providing for or caring for themselves.
This state is in deep enough water already, with its array of entitlement programs. Do we need to spawn more?
-- Michael Miro, El Dorado Hills