Springfield, MO

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Letter to the Editor: Marijuana users shouldn’t be treated as criminals

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Dear editor,

The comments made by federal prosecuting attorney Tim Garrison on [article “US attorney: Medical marijuana the ‘camel’s nose’ for recreational push”] Sept. 17 regarding the consequences of adult-use marijuana legalization in Colorado are absurd and not supported by the evidence. 

Not only have traffic fatalities caused by marijuana not doubled since adult use was legalized in that state, but in fact the state has realized a substantial increase in tax revenue, which has helped support education and other important government functions. In addition, the state has saved a tremendous amount of money by not trying to make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding adults who use marijuana responsibly. 

Marijuana was around and used by people for thousands of years before anyone thought about making it a crime. Contrary to (Garrison’s) prediction, in a few years, we will look back on the period of marijuana prohibition and wonder how we could ever have been so foolish as to treat marijuana users as if they were serious criminals. 


—Dan Viets, private practice attorney in Columbia and Missouri chapter coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws


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