I thank Dr. Cyril Wecht for his interesting and objective Forum commentary “The Mythology of Marijuana” (March 2). As an engineer, I have spent my entire career making technical decisions based on facts. Yet every day our politicians make decisions based on emotions, phobias and the almighty dollar. As Dr. Wecht stated, “As a forensic pathologist performing autopsies on hundreds of people each year who die of drug toxicity, I have never signed out a death due to cannabis, nor have I ever seen such an autopsy report from any other forensic pathologist.”
We have all witnessed the dangers of the excessive use of alcohol. Forensic pathologists have signed out many deaths due to alcohol. We also saw how useless Prohibition was and that the main benefactor from Prohibition was organized crime. It took politicians a long time, but they finally realized that Prohibition was a failed policy. Today the drug cartels are benefiting from illegal marijuana just as organized crime benefited from illegal alcohol. Marijuana is a multibillion-dollar industry for the drug cartels. If our politicians would legalize marijuana and tax it, this would be a big financial stimulus toward a balanced budget.
I tried marijuana in the 1970s and I did not like it. If marijuana were legalized, I would not smoke it. I am a runner, and I don’t like to put any smoke into my lungs, whether it is marijuana smoke or cigarette smoke. But I also don’t believe that the government should dictate what we can and cannot eat, smoke or drink.
According to forensic pathologists, alcohol has been the cause of many deaths and marijuana has not, yet alcohol is legal and marijuana is illegal. I don’t like when things don’t make sense. If only our politicians could make objective, factual decisions, then we could legalize marijuana.