Re "Debate Over Pot Gaining Steam" (Page E1, March 16): Thwarting good public policy and health care, legalization opponents' capitalistic motives confuse and scare the average citizen.
Teetotalers like Ron Nehring generally see the damage created by misuse and overuse of, while lacking insight about personal use. Marijuana is a gateway drug to building a criminal class, not a psychophysiological gateway drug to harder drugs use. Moderate use of marijuana is much less destructive than the approximate same alcohol consumption.
Drug merchants lose their key gateway product if marijuana is legalized. Many law enforcement and criminal justice professionals see legalization as career-threatening. We lack an unbiased ombudsman to elucidate the facts unless we read the research.
Legalize a drug, and you thwart economic incentive to push it. Marijuana use is a social and occasionally medical issue, not a moral topic. Let's no longer waste millions on this aspect of the drug war.
-- Mitch Darnell, Sacramento