Legalizing marijuana a foolish idea [Letter]

December 17, 2013

Legalize a drug with virtually no beneficial effect which, when used as intended, causes feelings of extreme paranoia, hostility, anxiety and panic attacks? A "gateway" drug which will almost inevitably lead to an unquenchable craving in some for an even greater high? That's the proposal being floated by Montgomery County Del. Heather R. Mizeur ("Mizeur's marijuana plan deserves consideration," Dec. 9).

Ms. Mizeur has stated that Maryland was founded on principals of "freedom, justice and tolerance." It was actually founded on something else — hard work.

Someone should acquaint Delegate Mizeur with the fact that marijuana use decreases productivity in the workplace and transforms communities into slums. In Prince Georges County where I resided from 1969 to 2001, it's not unusual to find idle, middle-aged men living with a parent or grandparent. Some have given up looking for work entirely.

Fifty years ago, the American dream was a house on a tree-lined street and a job with an advertising agency or IBM. In our modern society, that dream has been supplanted by a winning lottery ticket. Since state-sanctioned lotteries were signed into law in the mid-1970s, four generations have come to see the state, not the private sector, as their savior-in-waiting.

Is Ms. Mizeur's idea of a better tomorrow a pothead sending a family member to the corner store to fetch the old man his nice, legal Mary Jane because he's too stoned to get off the couch? Or a system which goes bankrupt paying unemployment claims because formerly productive members of society spend all day staring at their hands in their Aunt's attic?

Casting the issue in terms of freedom is not only disingenuous, it is also a double-edged sword. Freedom also means the right not to be subjected to a product I consider immoral.

Who does Ms. Mizeur think would ultimately pay for her social experiment? The answer is every taxpayer in the state.

It's time to send Delegate Mizeur packing.

Edward C. Davenport, Drum Point

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