I am not in support of the legalization of marijuana. I, like others, spent too much of my youth spaced out on pot. It was addictive, and it severely handicapped me in respect to my career, work and interpersonal relationships.

Did I love being stoned as a youth? Yes, and too much. That's part of the problem. It's too good and it is addictive to many people such as myself. We have to stop pretending that getting stoned doesn't impair your ability to function. Try responding to any emergency stoned, and you will screw up. Go to your next job interview high, and you will fail. Would you like a stoned babysitter taking care of your kids? How about a stoned surgeon operating on you? If you think I'm overreacting, just remember the Amtrak train wreck in Chase in which engineer Ricky Gates was high on pot and forgot to throw a switch, causing dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries. It does, it can and it will happen again.

Being stoned is like being pregnant, either you are or you aren't. With alcohol, most people can have a drink to relax, but if you smoke half of a joint of good pot, you will be spaced out. There is no gradual effect, you go from straight to stoned. Like tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, not everyone who smokes pot will be addicted or behave in a dangerous manner, but many will and many of them will be our children.

The two drugs that kill the most Americans are cigarettes and alcohol. They are both legal and have an age requirement. Do we really want another legal drug that is sure to increase the number of users? I don't think so.

Mike Gimbel, Timonium

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