While columnist Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has written some heartfelt words to his son that no doubt come from wanting nothing but the best for him, he has made some assertions that just don't hold water ("A letter to my son on marijuana," Feb. 16). Those people you saw in the prison whose problems started with addiction, well they didn't start with addiction. Addiction is a sign of mental health problems. If someone doesn't feel comfortable in their own skin, it is a relief to not feel like they normally do. Addictive substances are so alluring because they make the pain go away, if only temporarily. That's why people suffering from PTSD are so susceptible to addiction.
Alcohol, as I'm sure you are well aware, is far more addictive than marijuana, yet I don't hear the same words of caution to your son about alcohol. The point is, those people didn't end up in prison because of marijuana, they ended up in prison because they have emotional health problems that lead them to self-medicate, and we as a society have decided that self-medication is a crime, not a disease.
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