LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | Island doesn’t need legal pot
May 4, 2012 · Updated 3:41 PM
To the editor:
I have read with interest the back-and-forth discussion of whether to allow a distribution point for medical marijuana on this island. I would like to write against that idea. It is not that I have no sympathy for those in great pain, but I would like to present some deep reservations I have about this plan.
1. All drugs have side effects, but marijuana has more serious side effects that other painkillers do not have, such as long-term damage to the brain and greater impairment to driving skills. I understand that a driver can be as impaired, if not more so, under marijuana’s effects as with alcohol. We already have a tremendous problem with drunk drivers on this island. I would hate to see it made worse.
2. Most of us go off-island for various doctor appointments already. I assume that if a person truly needs marijuana, he or she could also obtain that prescription on the other side. Does it really have to be available here?
3. I fear that granting a distribution point for marijuana might well be a foot-in-the-door for marijuana as a recreational drug and perhaps other drugs as well. Supposedly, safeguards would be in place, but there are no guarantees. Again, do we need even a possible drug problem on this island?
I am old enough to recall that when abortion laws were put into place everyone was told that all it would do would be to stop back alley abortions and would never become a huge problem as some feared. Regardless of a person’s feelings pro or con on abortion, it is easy to see that the fears were justified.
I am writing this letter out of good will toward those on this island. We have an idyllic lifestyle here and I would like to see it preserved. It is not my wish to start an editorial war concerning medical marijuana distribution here, and certainly I do not wish to have bad feelings to or from anyone. It is only my desire to raise a word of caution. Let’s give this idea a lot more thought.