December 21, 2011 12:44:00 PM
I'm a conservative first with libertarian leanings and a little bit of liberal in me. Robert Koehler's column "Public Enemy No. 1" (in Tuesday's Dispatch) was very interesting. I grew up being taught the evils of marijuana and other "recreational" drugs. I still wish people wouldn't destroy their and others' lives with drugs, especially addictive ones. It is a dead-end road.
However, after watching this country "fight" a losing "war on drugs" for just about as long as I can remember, I've got to say this is the wrong way to combat drug abuse. Marijuana is addictive, as is tobacco and alcohol. What the government should do is legalize it, control who may buy and consume it, and tax the devil out of it (pun intended). That way, instead of spending millions of dollars per year trying to stop it, the government could collect millions of dollars per year regulating it, similar to alcohol.
I have heard tales for years how grass can be used for legitimate medical purposes. Supposedly there is a "pot farm" at Ole Miss where it is grown for research purposes. Doctors should be allowed to prescribe it, in pill form or whatever form is best, for conditions it will treat. Science is constantly discovering new medicines, many with terrible side effects.
(Look at all the lawyer ads on TV "If you or a loved one took this drug and suffered terrible consequences, call our law firm NOW") and new uses for "old" medicines. We need to use all the tools available in our tool box, not just the pretty ones. For example, maggots are now used in hospital settings to clean infected wounds.