Response to: "Government could collect tax dollars on legalized marijuana" (Roundup -- July 24'07)
I must respond to the ridiculous aspect of taxes on the letter recently submitted on marijuana and taxes.
There are still long-term tests being done on marijuana and the active ingredient THC to determine what long-term use might mean to the average user.
The experience with thalidomide and other potentially "harmless" drugs should not be taken lightly. It is for the consumer's protection that all drugs are considered guilty until proven innocent. It would be absurd to study a drug in any other context.
We already have two legal drugs that cost our society a fortune in health care costs: tobacco and alcohol. One year's smoking cost our society $8.2 billion, not including lost production and wages, which accrued to $19.1 billion.
What would we do with the tax dollars from marijuana?
Do we build more hospitals for the respiratory problems we know come with the smoking of marijuana, and other possible negative side effects? Include the fact that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that also may lead users to sample meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. which would mean more tax dollars for half-way houses, counseling, etc.
The irony of this logic is plain. Let's educate the public about the use of these substances and truly save money and even more important, prevent young people, such as Lindsay Lohan, messing up their lives for the future.
Ira Gibel, Former HS Health Educator, Pine resident