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Marijuana is a serious threat to kids [Letter]

Bravo to Mike Gimbel for his recent letter against legalizing marijuana in Maryland ("Say no to legalized pot," Jan. 11).

I have worked in the health care and social services field for the past 14 years, and he is spot on. Many adults who smoke pot started as teens or younger, and the pot wreaks havoc on their developmental stages and mind/body changes through their teens and into their 20s.

Pot smoking accounts for their lack of initiative, lethargy and in some, progression to other drugs or alcohol. Yet many "experts" cite research studies that pot smoking is harmless or less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes.

The same battle applies to alcohol use in colleges. I still don't understand why parents across the country haven't mounted a vigorous battle against the colleges. A difference could be made if people didn't shrug it off.

Just attend an Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting and look into the eyes of so many of our youth who have gotten caught in the drug and alcohol rites. It is heartbreaking to see the fear and disillusionment — that they might never have a future and we, the adults, were supposed to have kept them safe.

I am a baby boomer, and I blame my generation full force for not standing up and saying no and making it stick — to the schools, the communities, colleges, etc. Medical marijuana can be very helpful for certain health situations, but it needs to be strictly controlled.

Again, thank you, Mike, for having the courage to speak from experience.

Celie Hanauer, Abingdon

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