It's refreshing to read that someone feels the same about marijuana and addiction and is willing to say it, too ("A letter to my son on marijuana," Feb. 16)! I am a middle-aged woman who grew up in the '80s, and pot was at every party, school dance or concert I attended.

I can say I have witnessed firsthand how pot can lead one to addiction and can also be the start to even harder drugs. So many of my friends and family went down that path and never came back. Some landed in jail, other's died way too young.

I have heard time and again that "Oh, it's just pot." Yes, it is just pot, but when you witness family, friends and even co-workers who can't go a day without smoking pot, it becomes not just pot but an addiction. When you can't hold a job longer than a few weeks and blame it on everything else but what it really is, then that's a big problem.

I can say the same for an alcoholic and yes, alcohol is legal, but I too have witnessed that addiction firsthand and it's not fun to watch someone you love become an alcoholic. Addiction is the problem with these drugs, not the drugs themselves. I can truly understand Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. wanting to point his son, Drew, in the right direction because I, unfortunately, have seen the impact on the children of addicts and it's not a pretty picture.

I have three daughters, two are adults who have left home and a 13-year-old starting those tough teen years. I am very thankful thus far that I have not had to live the hard and agonizing life of an addict. I feel blessed and I pray that those who live that life will soon find their own path toward the right direction.

Helen Smith, Edgewood

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