I think I've heard from every respectable pothead in Cincinnati since last
Monday's column about "Phil," the west side doper who pays his taxes, holds
a steady job and burns up $600 a month on marijuana.

Like "Phil," many did not want their names used.

An attorney: "I'm still shocked at how corrupt, hypocritical, and
unconstitutional many aspects of the drug policy are."

John in Kentucky: "The Federal drug laws make criminals out of hard-
working, tax-paying citizens and bind Kentucky to the dying tobacco culture."

Booze is worse

Baby boomer: "While pot use may be big news in political campaigns, it's a
very small deal to many of my generation. It will always be condemned by
some percentage of the population, but a large segment of us know that pot
is not the same as cocaine, LSD or narcotics. Nor can we rationally equate
the relatively mild effects of pot with the harmful, even deadly, effects
of alcohol and tobacco. Some of us worry that speaking our minds would
jeopardize our social or workplace standings.

White-collar doper: "I'm a 33-year-old male who has a nice job in a
downtown office building, and, yes, I like to smoke weed. For me it's no
big deal. I treat weed like I do beer. Never before or during work and
never while driving, but when I get home from a long day (and I-71
traffic), I sometimes like to sit down with a joint and take a few hits. .
. . Heck, the only time I seem to be irresponsible is when I order too much
from LaRosa's late at night (ha)."

A 29-year-old pothead: "When was the last time you heard of a crazed
murderer saying, "Well, I was really high on weed, that's why I did it.'
The U.S. government should open their eyes to the amount of tax revenues
they are losing."

A waste of money

Kirk from Mesa, Ariz.: "In 1969 the Federal Drug Enforcement budget was $65
million. This year it's $19.2 billion, a 295- fold increase. I tried
multiplying 295 times $19.2 billion and my calculator keeps saying error.
And so does my brain."

A wife and mother: "I've known doctors, cops, lawyers, engineers,
housewives, senior citizens, teen-agers, newspaper people, business owners
and teachers that all smoke this so-called "devil weed' and are 100 percent
valuable to their communities, families, and friends."

And the other side:

Bob in College Hill: "Is a cheap recreational drug really good for our
society? Maybe "Phil,' who spends $600 a month on the stuff, would consume
much more if it were cheaper, and that level of use might cause more trouble."

Dave in Hamilton: "The billions of dollars that have been spent on the war
on drugs should be used to educate our youth on the long-term effects of
drugs and alcohol. Consider the millions of lives the disease of chemical
dependency has rendered unmanageable."

And for those who asked: No, I am not smoking the drapes or anything else.
I just think that where pot is concerned, the drug war sometimes looks
pretty dopey.

Pubdate: Mon, 19 Aug 2002
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Webpage: http://enquirer.com/editions/2002/08/19/loc_bronson_potheads.html
Copyright: 2002 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Contact: letters@enquirer.com
Website: http://enquirer.com/today/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/86
Author: Peter Bronson
Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1523/a04.html?1109