Fri, July 19

Letter: Pot vs. Alcohol = Apples vs. Oranges


I wish to respond to the two lengthy arguments written by Jesse Dowling that were recently published by this newspaper. Actually pretty much all of those in the pro-pot camp use the alcohol vs. pot argument. While not a real expert on either -- I drink a glass of wine or a margarita from time to time and have never smoked pot -- nor had the desire to smoke it. I fail to see a justifiable comparison.

Years ago I attended a few Ducks Unlimited events. I witnessed a handful of people who took the drinking too far and wound up very, very drunk. Ducks Unlimited provided transportation for those who were impaired to return safely home.

And while alcohol taken to those extremes is considered to be very, very unhealthy, the percentage of those who consume alcohol to that degree is very small. Most, if not all of the people I know, enjoy a glass of wine or a drink with dinner or at a social occasion. The purpose of the drink is not to get drunk. It is to enjoy the moment, enjoy food, enjoy friends.

Therein lies the big difference. The sole purpose in smoking a joint is to get stoned. It is my understanding that it is virtually immediate. There appears to be no middle ground. No chance to simply enjoy the taste if it even has such a thing.

No, the entire purpose of marijuana is to get impaired, drunk, high, stoned. So according to Mr. Dowling I am supposed to support the desires of potheads who have no other reason for smoking pot than to become impaired and then compare that to prohibition?

And their reason is that it is not unhealthy? So that means it is healthy? Right. Because it is not “unhealthy” I should support this vice for the betterment of society. No, that can’t be it. Because if it’s legal there will be more people driving under the influence - and there is no breathalyzer for pot. So the highways will be less safe - even if only by a few as Mr. Dowling states. And we want a few more why? So we try to get drunks off the road and then we legalize pot only to put more back on the road.

You know kids will get a hold of it. Great. Let’s start them down an intelligent road while they are still young. And what about my construction business. It is my understanding that this crap stays in your system. So someone is injured on the job and they test positive. I pay over 25 percent workman’s compensation and liability insurance on an employee. What happens to my rates? Maybe they only go up another 5 percent. Explain to me why I want to spend another ten grand a year so someone can get stoned out of their mind?

You mentioned that the repercussions that were predicted by those opposed to medical marijuana never really materialized. I think most of us that voted against it did so because we knew that this would be the next step. I have read that there was a huge spike in medical pot sales on December 31st last year. So apparently a bunch of medical pot users felt that they were going to become very sick on New Year’s Eve -- right. I guess all of their friends must have been sick, too.

Mr. Dowling, the only real reason to legalize pot is so people can get high. The big money that will find its way to the schools is just a smoke screen designed to get people like me to bite. I can only pray and vote so that doesn’t happen.

Bill Bullock