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Pot should be taxed & regulated like alcohol
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Excess is death and moderation is life.  Really Dennis, your anti-Berkeley bias (Dennis Wyatt’s July 10 column: “Hey man, like tax me, like a lot, like now”) is shooting your professional journalistic integrity right out of the saddle!  Is this not a free society?  

Nothing that isn’t overtly dangerous should be made arbitrarily illegal.  No commonly used herb, commodity or comestible should be denied to any free adult in America.  We are free to choose, as individual adults, what, how much and how often we may indulge in.  After all it’s not marijuana that’s harmful per se; but the habitual over-use of it can have a dulling effect on the mind.  Just like alcohol, marijuana should be regulated and taxed because, unlike alcohol, there are no documented incidents of death caused by marijuana use.  That’s right, zero direct fatalities!

Just because we don’t want children using it does not mean that adults should be barred from it.  The same is true of a number of things including tobacco, prescription drugs and alcohol.  When are we as a society going to learn to be responsible for ourselves?

If we ask the government to delve into areas which are by rights personal choices; we are opening the door to arbitrary prohibition on a broader scale.  And prohibition does not work in a free society.  The only way government prohibition could work is if our freedoms were rescinded, repealed or at least substantially reduced!  And I don’t think anybody wants that.  

Raise your children by setting a good example; teach them well; and above all, don’t cast blame on inanimate objects, substances or disparate groups of peoples!  As Shakespeare said, the fault lies within us all; that’s the way we’re made.  We each have to learn to choose wisely in a free society.  Freedom carries with it responsibility; if children aren’t taught this, they grow into irresponsibly excessive adults.
Steven J. Catalano
July 10, 2009