Washington resident warns about recreational pot

A letter to the editor, Erie Times- News (PA) , found on Go.Erie. com, August 18, 2017    retyped by Nancy Starr :

I disagree with letter writer Larry Havard’s view that legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania would be a “win-win” solution to the financial problems of Erie’s schools.

I am a former Erieite now living in a state that has legalized both medical and so-called recreational marijuana. I have peacefully protested at two downtown pot shops in Spokane.

While protesting, I have seen young people who appear to be minors waiting outside the pot shop or going around the corner while a companion with the required ID goes in and buys marijuana. When I informed a pot shop owner about this, she told me that once their product leaves the store, it’s out of their hands.

The fact is that pot shops are unable to keep their products out of the hands, bodies and brains of minors, who are most vulnerable to marijuana’s harmful effects. This, in my opinion, is reason enough to overturn the legalization of so-called recreational marijuana where legalization has been approved. Young minds and lives matter.

I do not want a continuation of the war on drugs that has targeted and imprisoned the poor and especially people of color. Alternatives to arrest and jail for nonviolent drug crimes exist and should be expanded.

— KH, Spokane, Washington  (we are leaving out his full name to protect his identity)

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