In his June 4 Coastal Voices piece ("The case for cannabis"), Robert DeRego of City Collective critiqued Roger Gitlin's "Say No To Marijuana" Coastal Voices article (May 31). I'm afraid DeRego fails to make his case in a number of areas.
His first failure is in attempting to connect the Tea Party to his liberal drug views. While not speaking for the Tea Party movement, I know enough about both subjects to know they are not compatible. Tea Party members hold disparate views on a variety of topics, but the legalization of drugs is decidedly not one of them.
Whether or not Mr. DeRego is a bona fide member of the Tea Party is
an unimportant point. A number of politicians on Capitol Hill call
themselves Catholic while supporting abortion and homosexuality. Anyone
can claim to be anything while eschewing any particular socio/political
view, the world cares not. It is the validity of the expressed view
that matters, and Mr. De Rego's view of the world indicates to me that
he is seeing reality through a purple haze.
There does seem to be a dearth of research on the subject of cannabis
being a gateway drug. Common sense should tell one that by avoiding the
drug cannabis in the first place the question would be rendered moot.
Those thrill-seekers and societal rebels who are looking for something
risque are the very ones that will eventually seek out more exotic
brews after pot becomes "old hat."
With the adoption of cannabis as remediation of pain for the medical
cornucopia of diseases, a confusing set of signals has resulted in a
disarray of enforcement priorities for law enforcement-state/local vs.
In the interest of consistency and clarity it seems to me that states
should be the determinants of societal norms within their given
boundaries with the exception of the movement of drugs from out of
country and between states, in which case(s) federal law has the
obligation to provide the states with security as provided by the
Constitution and stop any flow of illicit drugs between states.
As to the question of the merits of cannabis use, why should they be
extended to the public-at-large? Mr. DeRego argues strongly for medical
usage of the plant -okay, if it helps your malady fine. However, it
needs to end there. He cannot use that excuse for a wanton abuse of the
drug - that is a whole 'nuther argument.
He does seem to want it both ways as he launches into a "parents
teach your children" anthem and proceeds to lecture on responsible
parenting. What about the role model Mr. DeRego? One cannot sit around
sucking pot into your lungs and expect your children not to learn
lifelong lessons from observing that kind of example.
Why not simply use THC laced tablets? Why is smoking it such an
important element of the remediation process? The deep and hot retained
draught of the weed has got to be a problem to the sensitive tissue of
For those who will smoke the stuff come what may, I'm sure the fact
that cannabis is more carcinogenic to begin with than tobacco, even
taking into consideration that tobacco smokers smoke more frequently,
will not matter one whit.
I find it troublesome to think that the persons who use cannabis for
medical pain relief may very possibly drive a car within a period of
time before the high wears off. Note that tobacco does not impede
judgment and coordination. Cannabis use puts other drivers at risk in
today's "cranked-up" lifestyle, along with alcohol-impaired drivers and
The last thing we need is more impaired drivers on the road.
Dale L.Bohling is a Crescent City resident.