Legalized pot would not sink U.S. [Letter]

December 20, 2013

This letter is in response to the letter from Edward Davenport who wrote about how his personal knowledge regarding decreased productivity of workers in America proves that legalizing marijuana will cause the destruction of the United States ("Legalizing marijuana a foolish idea," Dec. 17).

While I sympathize with his belief that he knows everything and that his point of view must be true otherwise why would he believe it, the fact is that in studies done by the Economic Policy Institute, American workers are more productive than ever before, so his anecdotal evidence is just flat out incorrect. Because his facts are wrong, his argument has no merit and should be discarded, but even if he were correct that the scourge of marijuana has lead to the entire global recession because of all the damn hippies living in their parents' basements, his argument would still be worthless because there is nothing in the United States Constitution that allows the government to pass laws in order to make sure that people move out of their parents' homes and get jobs.

Marijuana is one of the safest drugs on the planet. No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. There are proven benefits for cancer patients, AIDS patients and for people who suffer from seizures, just to name a few. The truth is that the only reason for the existence of the war on drugs is to benefit the prison industry, the security industry and the gun industry. Decriminalizing drugs would benefit all of society by allowing the government to focus on treatment instead of punishment.

We should no longer listen to those who cling to a failed policy because they are scared of change. Legalization is the solution not the problem.

Jason M. Baxter, New York, N.Y.

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