Start by thinking about the deaths that result from an underground market.
The Jan. 26 editorial cartoon by Steve Sack, depicting the relative numbers of grave sites necessitated by deaths due to alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, made this reader unsettled — not so much by what it said but by what it did not.
No, few deaths are attributable to marijuana in this country, but hundreds die brutally every year south of our border providing this product to U.S. consumers. Our country could end this “outsourcing” of death by legalizing marijuana (we grow some of the best pot in the world), capturing tax revenue from the legal sale of a homegrown product, and reducing the pain and suffering of chemotherapy patients by making marijuana available to those who need it. Prohibition of alcohol gave rise to organized crime in this country. Prohibition of marijuana has done the same in Mexico.
BENJAMIN CHERRYHOMES, Hastings
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It’s obvious that Sack has never smoked pot, or he would know that you can get just as “drunk,” so to speak, on marijuana, as you can on alcohol. I experimented with marijuana as a younger person and have indulged in drinking, as well. I know from both experiences that when you have enough of either drug, you are unable to drive safely. How does Sack know how many traffic deaths have been caused over the years by a stoned driver? I’d like to know where he’s getting his figures in showing zero deaths from marijuana.
MARILYN MANGAN, Mound
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Aristotle, by thought alone, concluded that women have fewer teeth than men. Don’t make the same mistake about marijuana intoxication. Instead of just thinking, look at data and studies. You’ll conclude that Sack’s cartoon was on target.
JOHN KAPLAN, St. Paul
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.