At a time when recent trends in youth drug use have shown a significant downturn, I was disturbed by your recent editorial "Legalize medical marijuana" in support of state legislation to permit the growth of marijuana for medical purposes.
As a former schoolteacher and coach and father of two, I believe in giving our kids a drug-free future. Illegal drugs are responsible for the loss of 17,000 American lives annually, and marijuana is by far the most used and abused of these drugs. More kids use marijuana than cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and all other illicit drugs combined. Legislation that allows, supports or recognizes marijuana as a medicine is irresponsible, shortsighted and sends the wrong message to our youth.
There is absolutely no sound scientific evidence that marijuana has any medicinal value. The Food and Drug Administration is the only agency that can designate a substance as a medicine and to date has not done so. Marijuana continues to be a Schedule I Controlled Substance, and its use under federal law, for any reason, is a crime.
It is clear that if this bill becomes law, it would undermine the medical integrity and safeguards established by the federal drug approval process, compromise law enforcement efforts to combat drug trafficking, and endanger public health and safety. Legalization of any kind will also have unintended consequences: each person injured in driving and work-related accidents committed by those under the influence, and unborn babies harmed by abusing mothers.
I urge the General Assembly to think twice about supporting legislation that softens the stance that marijuana is dangerous, addictive and illegal. I would hope that everyone could agree that there is no legitimate place in our society for marijuana use.
For fisking of the letter, see DrugWarRant @ Salon.
Remember, Daniel Ellsberg:
"Sibel says that suitcases of cash have been delivered to the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, at his home, near Chicago, from Turkish sources, knowing that a lot of that is drug money.
Now these are pretty inflammatory allegations, let's say, and it's note-worthy that they haven't even been picked up by the mainstream press. The Vanity Fair article made that plain, though not in as much detail as the antiwar.com interviews - but not one major newspaper I don't think has picked up her allegations against Hastert which are very specific, and one would think very important."