I believe that Sara Rapp has been misinformed about the effects of marijuana (letter to the editor, Sept. 20). It is NOT a "gateway drug" in any way, no more than drinking Coke is a gateway drug to liquor. It is also not addictive like alcohol and opiate drugs are. If a person has an addictive gene in their body, they can become addicted to just about anything. The "vast human wreckage" she mentions is from hard drugs and alcohol.
If you look back in history, marijuana has been around for eons and many famous and creative people have used it. It is a natural and native plant that has been proven to help many, many people with medical problems. I have a son with a bi-polar disorder and after many years and many costly prescriptions, marijuana has helped him tremendously. If it helps cancer and seizure patients, how can it be so horrible?
The good that would come out of being able to provide for the community would not only benefit the people who need it medically, it would also be putting much needed money into the community -- that cannot be a bad thing. Smoking a joint is no different than having a beer or glass of wine, other than you can become addicted to the latter. Lavender and hemp have their uses, however not nearly as much as the benefits or income derived from marijuana.
I am not a smoker; however, I have seen the dramatic benefits to my son and a friend who suffers with MS.