LANCASTER NEW ERA
Editorial “Pot-pushing in Pa. Legislature” poses excellent questions:
“In supporting outright legalization of pot, [State Rep. Daylin] Leach rolled out the time-worn economic argument for taking the drug in a way similar to alcohol, which would generate much-needed revenue for state coffers.
“But if raising revenue is the only aim, why not legalize prostitution, the so-called world’s oldest profession?”
“How many families are destroyed by the chronic user of pot? How many pot-smokers move on to cocaine and heroin?”
WATCHDOG: First, no one is suggesting the “outright legalization of pot” and the editor(s) certainlyknows better. What is being proposed is the “regulation, control and taxation” of marijuana in the manner that we treat alcohol and cigarettes. There has never been a reported death from the consumption of marijuana and a federal study indicates its properties are far more benign than alcohol or nicotine.
Second, how many lives are destroyed by the “chronic” use of just about anything? How many beer drinkers move on to cocaine and heroin? In fact, studies indicate that marijuana use is often substituted for troubled alcohol consumption.
Third: Smoking a joint is no different from coming home to a beer or a glass of wine. What the editor is disseminating is ignorance and prejudice that were the product of earlier racist attitudes towards African-Americans and Mexicans and later by Richard Nixon towards anti-Vietnam war activists.
To wit: “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” said Harry Anslinger, America’s first ‘drug czar’ in 1930. “… most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”
Lastly, licensing, regulations and control would bring routine health examinations, respectability and safety to the work of sex workers of whom many of the very people who criticize them have been patrons. Enough of this hypocrisy!