The decriminalization of cannabis

To the Editor:

As usual the hysteria surrounding so-called "decriminalization" of cannabis has reached fevered heights here in Vermont while the annual Doyle poll showed 69% favored NO jail for ALL drugs, 61% for Weed de-crim, and 51% for Hemp cultivation, but why should officials follow their citizens wishes? And then there's the rant about "sending the wrong message to kids" yet when I was a kid in the 60s gambling was illegal, LSD was legal, (until '66), and some states barred marriage between folks of different races, AKA "colored people." Now we show kids that gambling is OK ("play responsibly"), insane wars of conquest/resource theft is fine, and have absolutely NO compunction to doping kids with speed (Ritalin, Adderol) and SSRI anti-depressants (Prozac, Paxil, etc.) that cause permanent brain changes before reaching maturity and harm fetus's hearts too.

And let's not forget the research going way back to the 1894 Indian Hemp Commission, the 1942 LaGuardia Report, the 1968 Wooten Report, and the 1972 Shafer Report that showed NO harmful or deleterious effects from short and long term cannabis usage and the report by the (British) Lancet in Oct. 2010 that of all drugs, legal and not, the worst to people, society, health care, and prisons, etc., " overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine."

Many recent studies show beneficial aspects of cannabis for arresting and preventing cancer, alleviating chronic pain, nausea, depression, and even ADHD, postpartum depression and helping with lactation. Don't take my word for it, new uses are being found monthly (check the web) for this extremely beneficent and benign plant that is FAR less dangerous than a liquid carcinogenic, flammable, dangerous addictive drug (see "delerium tremens") pushed daily by the industry, at our taxpayer expense, known as alcohol ... Some "message to kids," they aren't even told in DARE and other programs that it's addictive! Get over it, the big lie has been exposed thanks to the internet's ability to get REAL info real quickly of all the studies, and for a synopsis of the underhanded and sordid history of lies, police corruption, and sabotage by the likes of the BNDD (now DEA), NIH, and NIDA check out the book "Smoke Signals" by Martin Lee, it's a real eye-opener, for those whose eyes are not permanently closed in a self-imposed knowledge blackout who resort to tired old canards like "sending the wrong message to kids".

Give it up, Doyle's poll shows just how far behind mainstream Vermonters you "elected officials" are, it's not 1937 anymore and we're sick of being selectively prosecuted, persecuted, and sometimes even beaten and jailed on the whim of cops and prosecutors. Drugs are a health problem, not criminal, and we could send "offenders" to UVM for about half of the $55,000 it costs to incarcerate them, but then the "prison-industrial complex" and bail bondsmen would have to deal with violent and dangerous offenders vs. non-violent sick folks, heaven forbid!


Steve Merrill

North Troy, Vt.


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