Last month, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would campaign to legalize marijuana in California. The American Civil Liberties Union said Newsom would lead a “blue ribbon panel” to study how Colorado and Washington went about legalizing pot for recreational use, with an eye toward putting a measure on the ballot in 2014 or 2016. Last Sunday’s Conversation asked the question: What do you think of Newsom’s plans to lead the effort to legalize marijuana in California?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Pot use takes its toll
Re “Newsom wades into the weed” (Forum, Dan Morain, Oct. 27): Recreational pot use has destroyed a part of my family and the small town where I live. We need to instill a more noble purpose in life – and employment to match – not another excuse to sit around and do nothing but get high.
Tim Johnson, San Andreas
Your constant rehashing of the well-known ills associating with growing and using cannabis saddens me.
The problem with your narrow-minded approach is that, of course, you never mention the benefits associated with the weed. There are many medical conditions for which there are no remedies at the present time. As just about everyone knows by now, marijuana helps with loss of appetite, insomnia, glaucoma, etc.
Your scare tactics and arguments are silly. Legalizing pot won’t make your child an instant addict, since there is so much of the stuff around already that legalizing it won’t make a difference.
Maybe we should teach our children tolerance of other people’s needs instead of trying to oppress the sick and needy. Remember, children learn by example.
Caroline Bigard, Sacramento
Dan Morain makes interesting and important points. From the employer’s viewpoint, this issue raises critically important issues associated with worker safety, public safety and employer liability.
How is a trucking firm to address this issue? Construction? Bus drivers? Pharmacy workers? Doctors and nurses? What will become acceptable limits for residuals in the blood? How will insurance companies address potential liability claims? How will these guidelines affect worker’s compensation claims?
While Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom may be very familiar with an office, courtroom or legislative environment, for those operating where the rubber meets the road, operator error, errors in judgment and delayed reaction times are issues that must be addressed prior to any further movement toward legalization of marijuana.
William Fleeman, Davis
Revenue would aid state
I wholeheartedly support Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s marijuana legalization plan.
Illegal growing operations by Mexican drug cartels are poisoning our environment. Simple possession and sales arrests are clogging court schedules and diverting law enforcement efforts from more serious crimes. California is a financially strapped state that would greatly benefit from extra tax revenue. Marijuana has been legitimized in other states, setting a precedent for legalization.
I have seen alcohol ruin and terminate the lives of close friends and family. On the other hand, no one I know has overdosed from smoking grass. It’s time common sense replaced outdated superstition and the knee-jerk attitudes of law enforcement toward marijuana use.
Candy Tutt, Woodland
War on drugs has failed
Dan Morain’s column about Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to legalize marijuana touches on points worth of contention.
It is fact that the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. Concurrently, there is complete hypocrisy at hand. Alcohol, a clearly mind-altering substance, has been legal for many decades and the health care costs associated with it are enormous.
And yet no one proposes making it illegal again. Simply put, alcohol makes billions of dollars and people enjoy its effects. So, let’s be honest. Make all drugs illegal, alcohol included, and then we can have a more meaningful discussion.
Meanwhile, as mentioned, our nation somehow hasn’t crumbled even though marijuana has been available for decades.
Lloyd Benjamin, Sacramento
A quest for headlines?
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking for ways to get headlines. He has no moral compass, no ethics. He is willing to compromise anything for more government control and revenue. He represents everything bad about government. More societal decay is fine with him.
Charles Benson, Sacramento
Schemer, not a leader
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is a self-serving politician of the worst kind. He is not a leader, but rather a schemer, positioning himself to become governor and or elected to Congress.
He relies on organizations like the ACLU and college professors to bolster his claims of marijuana legalization being the only way to fly. He ignores criminal justice leaders, medical researchers and common sense that introducing legal pot into the already hectic California environs of driving, mischievous young people and the world of schizophrenia will add to social tragedies that we already endure with marijuana being illegal.
Bill Sanders, Gold River
Pot isn’t medicine
Dan Morain correctly describes the downfalls of legalizing pot, including serious public health issues, including increased symptoms for severely mentally ill, and social consequences.
Environmental degradation and use of herbicides, insecticides and other harmful chemicals are not the way to produce a useful medicine. Legal status would send the message that it is safe and OK to use.
Government’s role is not to use money and power created by marijuana sales. Government’s role is to do what is best for its people.
Calling marijuana a medicine is a scam. Comparing it to alcohol and tobacco should be enough to point out all the dangers.
Madeleine Melo, Fort Bragg
Time for study has passed
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to look into the possibility of legalizing marijuana is well-intentioned but way too late and slow. We have had medical marijuana in this state since 1996 – more than 17 years. Why take two more years to study? California is looking for a leader, not a blue ribbon panel. We can and should get this done in 2014. The votes are there.
Andy Higgins, Fountain Valley