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Know Your Rights

 
   
 

A Letter to the National Platform Committee of 2005

by Haze

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I would like to express my opinions and support for the legalization of marijuana. Should the freedom to choose what a person does with their life and puts in their body be controlled by the government? America is based on an individual's freedom and right to choose. Our government should protect our rights, not dictate our behavior as authoritarian governments do.

The Constitution was written to limit the power of the government. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say the government has control over what goes into a person's body. How does the government justify the right to control substances? They rely upon the commonly called 'general welfare clause', which means the government has the right to 'support the general welfare'. The framers of the Constitution did not mean this clause should allow the government to pass laws to prevent an individual from taking drugs, or selling them for that matter. Do such laws really promote general welfare? Do such laws, instead create disorder and chaos in our society?

One result of controlling the use of marijuana is it leads to poverty, more gang related activity, prostitution, and makes ordinary citizens into criminals. For example, if a person is already poor and smokes, let's say, an ounce a week, this could total up to between $100 to $500 a month. That's more money than some people spend on cigarettes and everyone knows how expensive that can get. Where does this guy get the money? Many turn to dealing or prostitution. Eventually, that person's luck will run out. They go to jail, resulting in no income, no family support, no productive citizenship, all at a tremendous expense to the taxpayers.

Our jail facilities are overcrowded with everyday, average people. Jails should lock people away who are dangerous to society, not people who are harming no one but himself or herself. Just because another individual thinks it's wrong, is not an adequate reason for a person to go to jail for many years because they choose to smoke a plant. In this case, smoking pot becomes a moral issue, which is a personal opinion, not fact. When laws are based solely on a leader's or small group's opinion, and not fact, this leads to a dictatorial government and dismisses the protection our Constitution gives us.

Is the government really looking out for the good of the people? Why is research on drugs (that may be able to help people) unlawful in most states. Some studies that have been done show cancer and AIDS patients eat better and show better responses in chemotherapy. Why then, would the government make something illegal if it is for the good of the people?

By banning the use of pot the government is creating more crime, poverty, and suffering, rather than helping the people. Marijuana use should be an individual's freedom, not a government controlled issue.

Has Anyone Ever Died From Smoking Marijuana?

No; not one single case, not ever. THC is one of the few chemicals for which there is no known toxic amount. The federal agency NIDA says that autopsies reveal that 75 people per year are high on marijuana when they die: this does not mean that marijuana caused or was even a factor in their deaths. The chart below compares the number of deaths attributable to selected substances in a typical year:

Tobacco...............................340,000 - 395,000

Alcohol (excluding crime/accidents).............125,000+

Drug Overdose (prescription)............24,000 - 27,000

Drug Overdose (illegal)...................3,800 - 5,200

Marijuana.............................................0

*Source: U.S. Government Bureau of Mortality Statistics

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