2017-07-13 / Letters

Restrictions will lead to more stoned drivers

I’d like to respond to Mark Wallis’ letter (June 29) on the use of marijuana both medicinally and recreationally within the Conjeo Valley.

While he makes some intriguing and often overlooked points about the medicinal use of marijuana, his argument isn’t even an argument for disallowing delivery or dispensaries within the city.

He points out that the only people who can’t get a medicinal prescription are dead: That’s exactly the point. Anyone who wants to can already get a prescription, and by limiting sale/transport within the city, we only make it an inconvenience, at best, for those who want to get it.

The truth is most people who use marijuana (of which I am not one), either get it legally elsewhere or illegally locally. Think about that.

His assertion that we can somehow limit the visibility of the drug or limit the number of users on the road by disallowing dispensaries is completely unfounded.

The fact is marijuana already exists in the city, and the situation on local roads will almost without question worsen if we force newly curious users to travel outside the city to get marijuana and then travel back into town under the influence.

Mr. Wallis repeats the oft-used gateway-drug argument, when, in fact, there are as many studies debunking this theory as there are supporting it.

Now, I’m willing to concede there’s probably some connection between marijuana usage and escalation to the use of other drugs, but I would also then argue that alcohol and tobacco use contributes in the same manner, if not more so.

Banning dispensaries or delivery within the city is a petty and ultimately counterproductive action. It will put us, the people of T.O., at more risk of DUI accidents and deaths, and it puts an undue restriction on a singular substance that’s no better or worse than substances already being sold within the city.

The fact that some people don’t approve of a substance or have unfounded fears does not and should never impinge on the rights of everyone else. Period.

Devin Youngman
Newbury Park

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