Letter to the editor: Another view of marijuana issues – Glens Falls Post-Star

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In a Sept. 5, Post-Star letter, Al Scoonzarielli of Moreau suggested that we look to Colorado as an example of the benefits that legalized marijuana might bring to New York. Here is what an author of Colorado’s marijuana legalization law, Attorney Robert J. Corry Jr. of Denver, Colorado, has said on that subject.

“The inmates are running Colorado’s marijuana asylum. … This industry fouls our planet with chemicals and wasteful growing systems, harms the poor and children, and is dominated by the wealthy and privileged. … The percentage of Colorado’s overall state revenue from marijuana is minuscule. Costs for treatment, lost productivity, and other externalities of increased intoxication and addiction, plus harm to children, have skyrocketed. … Colorado is now synonymous with marijuana, and marijuana is a net loss.” Connecticut Mirror, 6/20/2021.

Mr. Scoonzarielli also questioned the “old gateway drug thing.” There needs to be little debate about which “drug” is a “gateway,” since the gateway is more psychological than a matter of substance abuse.

People who are psychologically more vulnerable to drug-taking, especially impressionable young people, are simply more likely to start with readily available substances. Subsequent interactions with other drug users increase the risk of the use of other, more dangerous or addictive drugs. This risk is heightened by diminished apprehension, or of simple curiosity, or a desire for greater drug-induced euphoria.

This is not an attempt to discourage Mr. Scoonzarielli or anyone else from smoking pot. The state was right to decriminalize marijuana. However, building marijuana factories in our cities and towns, and the promotion and sale of marijuana in our neighborhoods, is not in the best interests of our society.

Edward Pontacoloni, Lake George

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