Re "Hit-run killer gets 25-year sentence (Page A1, June 14): This tragedy may never have occurred if Paul Walden hadn't begun smoking pot at 17. There is much debate over legalizing marijuana. I for one object. Legalization will send a message that marijuana is an OK non-addictive substance. How many teenagers, who would otherwise shun it, will give it a try? Having worked with drug-addicted mothers, I discovered that all had begun with pot as teenagers. According to his own testimony, Paul smoked pot at 17, moved on to acid and mushrooms at 18, meth at 19, and heroin at 20. Granted, all who begin with pot do not move on, but many do. But once one enters the drug culture, it becomes easier to experiment with more potent addictive substances.
-- Doris Concklin, Carmichael