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I'm writing to advocate for marijuana legalization. To stop hunting and jailing people based on disproven ideas and myths. To stop making police officers enemies to our children. To stop pouring billions of dollars down a bottomless hole.

In 1972, a study commissioned by the Nixon administration found that marijuana is relatively harmless. The study was scrapped because the facts did not do what they were told.

Personally, I never found pot all that appealing. In the last 50 years since high school, I've known a few people who don't smoke, but I can't think of anyone who believes in punishment for those who do.  I used to worry about my kids being caught up in this "cops and robbers" crap, but like many, I did nothing, as if it was an accepted part of life.  But soon I'll have the same concerns for my grandchildren, and I find that a bit hard to take.

Now, many states have legalized what New Jersey will still imprison you for, while taking your money and possessions, and ruining your career. And spend billions of our tax revenue to do it. "Absurd" may just be too weak a label for this.

I won't ask our governor to reconsider. Obviously, this is a calculated political position, unrelated to the facts, or even beliefs. The Christie children will never have a law enforcement problem. That is a fact. But answer this, governor; how many pensions does it cost to arrest, convict, and jail children not named Christie?  Which bridge or highway will be sacrificed so that we can build another "correctional" facility?

The position the governor has laid out lacks common sense, compassion, and even the consensus of New Jersey voters. It is counter productive, and very expensive. But it can no longer be seen as just another inevitable part of our lives. It's time for this anachronism to become extinct.


S. O. Schiro
Red Bank, NJ