Another drug

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To the Editor:

I know it is too early but come November we will be asked to vote for or against the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) for recreational use.

At one time, I was in favor of letting adults determine for themselves what is good for them. Since then I have done some serious thinking. We have seen highly educated people such as doctors, lawyers and engineers getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs so some adults don’t know what is good for them. My research indicates marijuana is a psychoactive drug and medicine and should be allowed for medical use to reduce pain just like Vicodin and Percocet. Of course Vicodin and Percocet need a doctor’s prescription.

The recreational use is another matter. Marijuana comes in different strengths and different forms. It can be added to cookies and given to unsuspecting people including children. Marijuana has some positive effects such as euphoria and relaxation. Some of the side effects are short-term memory loss, impaired motor skills and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. I have not seen enough research results to determine several things. First, is the smoking of one joint enough to prohibit a person from driving a vehicle? Second, how long after smoking one joint is a person able to think clearly and have quick reaction necessary to drive a vehicle? Third, what is the effect on people after they drink a small quantity of alcohol and combine that with smoking pot? Unfortunately, most people don’t know when they are impaired. Purely from a defensive position and before making a final decision, answer two questions. Is society better served by allowing recreational marijuana; and, do we need more impaired drivers on our roads and highways?

Bill Quinn
Keizer

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