Letters to the Editor

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MEDICAL POT: State should follow Seattle’s lead

Letter by Tracy A. Baublits, Fife on April 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm with 36 Comments »
April 20, 2011 2:21 pm

Alcohol causes approximately 80,000 deaths a year in the United States, and cigarettes kill around 443,000.

Marijuana causes no deaths and has known medicinal use.

Guess which one is illegal? Makes no sense, does it?

Maybe Gov. Chris Gregoire should follow the lead of Seattle. Former police chief Norm Stamper is now on the board of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). Gil Kerlikowski, also a former Seattle police chief, enforced a law that made marijuana the lowest priority.

If the state did this, and made pot use a simple misdemeanor with a reasonable fine, it would still be illegal, which might keeps the federal government away. Nobody would get a felony, and the police could put their time to better uses than dealing with harmless pot smokers.

Pot has been studied to death. Let’s not waste time on another one.

Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Better idea; let the rest of the pot heads in this state move to seattle.

  2. I like your comment Vox_clamantis_in_deserto. But still a better idea: “Let all the potheads move to San Francisco.

  3. I’ve got a nice truck I would be willing to help them move

  4. “Marijuana causes no deaths and has known medicinal use.”
    The first part is a total lie. The second part does not matter after the first part.

  5. Most drugs that have medicinal uses can kill.

  6. hansgruber says:

    Here is a good reason to keep it illegal

    The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released data from the 2008 Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program
    May 28, 2009

    New Study Reveals Scope of Drug and Crime Connection; As Many as 87 Percent of People Arrested for Any Crime Test Positive for Drug Use

    Other key findings from the report:

    Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug at the time of arrest.

  7. mountainfisherman says:

    young lady you are so right. ok last time for you right wing do-gooders how many poeple have died from the stonage(pot only) thats right zero, none , nada, zilch. to mr. hansgruber most of this studies are slanted to begin with. from the start they already going to bad mouth it, write what the gov. wants. you poeple have so much tunnel vison it is not funny and wont accept the facts. why dont you just stick your head up your butt just a little bit further like most do-gooders. to publico,oldman-4 , uscha, you know what why dont we ship up to great white north and you can complain to the polar bears, and use sound transit to get there. ok im through. ps. you dont have to smoke either ( for you non smokers ) you can cook with and still the benifits.

  8. blakeshouse says:

    It seems so stupid to me to continue to outlaw a plant that for thousands of yrs has been known for its medicinal as well as recreational values with no known deaths at all from use At one time it was required for farmers to grow hemp as one of their crops by mandate. Everything was fine till the thirties when a man named Anslinger pushed the bigots and racists of the time to outlaw it to “protect” white women in the south from those evil black men in the south using the aweful weed and raping these pure white women. Also because it was mexicans in the southwest coming across the border to get jobs.
    There has never been one death attributed to an overdose of mj ever, yet it is listed as a schedule I drug!!!! I have no clue as to how many billions of our tax dollars have been spent on interdiction and eradication since I first toked on a joint in 1974 and yet the number and % of citizens using the evil weed have increased ever since. From racist fears to stupidity the continued ban on a harmless plant has done nothing to stop or even curb its continued enjoyment by MILLIONS

  9. Publico why dont you do some research before you run your mouth? You can not overdose on thc, fool. Do you know who uses medical marijuana, Publico? NOPE YOU HAVE NO IDEAD…. its mostly people in their late 40’s on up. It isnt young pot heads. Again..ignorance and stupidity rules your mind Publico.

    These sick,nasty republicans are destroying America with their profound willful ignornace.

  10. mountainfisherman says:

    to blakehouse and sue1234. both of you are so right. one other fact that a lot of people don’t know is that all the rich business owners would give the black worker cocaine to get more done. they did it for years then all of a sudden they make it iilegal. now you have all this workers hook on coke. dont think its true look it up. ok im through

  11. Marijuana is the most commonly detected drug at the time of arrest.

    Marijuana (THC actually) is fat-soluble and thus stays in the system for a long time and is easily detected so that is not all that surprising.

    However…..correlation doesn’t equal causation. Your factoid doesn’t really support any meaningful conclusions other than: people who indulge in criminal behavior are less likely to pay attention to laws that criminalize indulgence in marijuana.

  12. domedude47 says:

    publico, your ignorance is showing. As we speak a drunk is killing someone. Tax pot, spend police recources on real crime and less harassment. Honestly, some real facts from our governent could help.

  13. I love it when someone labels me as right wing or republican because I am opposed to anything that makes pot legal.
    How many people have died from lung disease because they smoked pot? How many people have been killed while driving stoned and how many innocent people have they killed on the highways?
    There is nothing one can smoke that will make one healthier than not smoking at all.
    We do not need another legal intoxicant. We already have too much to deal with because of alcohol.
    The way it came out, I think mountainfisherman was stoned at 7:38. For hypersue, I never said that anyone overdosed on pot and that is not what the author wrote either. He said “marijuana causes no deaths.” That is still a lie.

  14. not a pothead but I would much rather be in San Francisco (if I could afford it) than Seattle.

  15. Publico – if it is a lie, it should be easy to prove….just cite one.

  16. Omega6234 says:

    If pot is illegal… so should cigarettes. I know of 99 times more people who have died from lung disease from cancer sticks than from Pot.

  17. stillidealistic says:

    I find it interesting that government has spent so much time and money demonizing pot. Look at the 1936 movie ‘Reefer Madness’. Beyond comical. What is to be gained and by whom with the continued persecution of otherwise law-abiding citizens. (The liquor industry has the most to lose. Many people give up booze once they try pot.) And, is our State and Federal leadership so blinded that they don’t have the vision to see the benefits of moving pot use to the lowest priority. I mean really, talk about closing up the budget gap. Let’s get this stuff legalized.

  18. BlaineCGarver says:

    I see no reason for pot to be a criminal offense, at least for smoking it. The distribution of it certainly involves crime, shooting, gang war, and killing. So, there ya go. Mostly harmless to individuals, really bad for society.

  19. “The study showed that the largest increases in fatalities in fatal crashes where the driver tested positive for marijuana occurred over the 5 years following the legalization of medical marijuana in January 2004. There were 1240 fatalities in fatal crashes where the driver tested positive for marijuana for the following five years, compared to the 631 fatalities for the five years before for an increase of almost 100%.

    Based on data from 2008 there were 8 counties in California with 16% or more of the drivers in fatal crashes testing positive for marijuana and 5 of the 8 counties had 20% or more. Based on this experience, California could see a use rate of 16% to 20%, which would triple the present level of 230 fatalities in 2008. At these levels, marijuana would rival alcohol as the top cause of traffic fatalities in California.

    “There is not a law enforcement officer in the state of California that would disagree with the data and the premise that deaths will increase on the streets and highways if the initiative passes”, said Crancer.”
    Statistical analysis does have its place in science in case anyone here has doubts.

  20. We do not need another legal intoxicant that affects drivers on the roadway.
    End of argument.

  21. No Publico……not end of argument. What you are talking about is what is known as “prior restraint” – which isn’t a Constitutionally valid reason for a law.

  22. and Publico – you need to give us the link.

  23. “beerBoy says:
    April 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm
    and Publico – you need to give us the link.”
    Just for you: http://thehive.modbee.com/node/19954
    And I think you are confused about what “prior restraint” means, certainly in legal terms.

  24. Publico – Thanks for providing the link. By actually reading the blog (rather than the study) I saw these very important words: “Might” “May” “Could”…….

    You probably should remember what those qualifiers mean as they were very clearly throughout the article.

    Speculative conclusions based upon non-conclusive evidence with absolutely no causality.

  25. Again Publico – the study doesn’t demonstrate an actual increase in fatal crashes or how many fatal crashes there were. By not sharing the actual sample sizes we are left comparing numbers that don’t mean much.

  26. Swedish system – One UDI no licence every again.

  27. xring – but that would mean dealing with the behavior of driving intoxicated directly rather than indirectly as an argument for maintaining blue laws.

    You know….there are plenty of over the counter and prescription drugs that warn about operating machinery when taking them. Maybe we should deal with intoxicated driving by making them illegal. And while we are at it, let’s make it illegal to own a cell phone.

  28. tbab5783 says:

    Fred Hutchinson (WHO LOOK FOR CANCER CAUSING AGENTS and were surprised by the results) & University of Washington have both shown no lung, esophageal, or mouth cancer. Study before you spout uninformed crap.

  29. tbab5783 says:

    I have studied the emergency room test on marijuana users. What is funny is they put anybody on this list. It didn’t differentiate fault. A pot user could be t-boned by a drunk driver and it would still count toward this number. Then there is the fact that Marijuana stays in your system long after the psychoactive effects last and test positive for pot still, months later.

  30. One glass of wine is equal to smoking pot. saying, that, there should be a 0 tolerence for alcohol, not .08 percent as is is now.

  31. One glass of wine is equal to smoking pot.

    No, the effects of alcohol are different than the effects of THC.

  32. tbab5783 says:

    I agree, you can overdose on alcohol but not weed. I am talking about the neurophysiology involved with the use of either one. The safer one is obviously the right one, and it is not alcohol. And there are centuries of anecdotal use that show no harm. Some people need to educate themselves before spouting B.S.

  33. “Marijuana causes no deaths and has known medicinal use.”
    The first part is a total lie. The second part does not matter after the first part.

    You have not cited any evidence to support your first sentence. And your second sentence betrays a complete lack of compassion for glaucoma, AIDS, cancer patients and others who have experienced relief from the use of marijuana that is not available from any prescription drug.

    There is no evidence that prohibition works to lessen the use of the substance but there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that it has had negative impact upon our society (including the corruption of police, overpopulated jails, and – of course – the black market).

    Hysterical, non-fact based prohibition has also included the banning of the cultivation of industrial hemp – a related plant without the psychogenic properties, smoking hemp would only lead to a sore throat – and thus our economy is deprived of a crop that is proven to have many uses.

  34. tbab5783 says:

    Beerboy – look up the word “known”. A little different than “no”. I think you are probably confused a little.

  35. tba – I think you are confused a little

    The first paragraph of my post (set off by italics to indicate that it isn’t mine) is a cut and paste from a comment made by another poster up thread where he quoted someone’ else’s post (indicated by quotation marks).

    The first sentence I was responding to was “The first part is a total lie.”
    The second sentence was: “The second part does not matter after the first part.”

    No confusion on my part, even if my wording was a bit confusing.

  36. tbab5783 says:

    My Bad – I believe we agree on this subject.

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