Letter - Smoking democracy


Personally, I don’t want to use marijuana, and as a health-care professional I’m concerned about any substance that people burn, inhale and use to alter their mood. But I’m even more concerned with our elected government officials subverting the democratic will of the people by refusing to properly regulate the marijuana marketplace.

It is time for city councils and county commissions throughout Washington to step up and implement Initiative 502 because the majority of voters have already decided that growing, selling, buying and possessing marijuana should not be a criminal offense and that drug cartels need to be put out of business.

Barbara Hetrick

Walla Walla


bru 1 year, 7 months ago

Succinct, to the point and correct.


PearlY 1 year, 7 months ago

Ours is a small community that can't afford to hire a bunch of analysts and lawyers to invent the wheel. Personally, I'm happy to see our council take it slow and give us all a chance to learn from the mistakes being made by other communities.

Poor siting and regulation of marijuana growing and sales are harder to fix after they've been put in place and people have established businesses in reliance on them.

If that 'learning curve' lasted more than three or four years, I'd agree with Ms. Hetrick that it was a subversion of a democratic vote. But a few months? No. That's just taking due care.


chicoli 1 year, 7 months ago

The Ebers Papyrus had marijuana as a medicinal herb for nausea, increasing appetite, pain control and other minimal ailments. That was several thousand years ago. Since then Medicine has amazed a formidable armamentarium which, thanks to molecular/ genetical evidence base science is getting better and better. Within 5 years "medicinal" marijuana will be push back to the Ebers Papyrus indications, exactly where it really belongs.

On the other hand it is well known that, due to cannabinoid receptors in various regions of the brain, once they are conditioned, chronic marijuana abuse can cause a withdrawal syndrome wich is amenable to treatment, just like the withdrawal symdrome from alcohol or opioids as meassurable with CIWA scores.

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated a higher incidence of psychosis, schizophrenia and mania on marijuana abusers. Moreover the incidence of memory problems and compromized cognition is also noticeable in chronic users. Have you ever heard of the cultural marker of "pot heads" ? Well, there you go!

Acute intoxication could include dizziness, poor coordination, dysphoria and hallucinations; symptoms which are less than desirable while driving or operating dangerous equipment.

I understand the democratic principle of majority votes prevailing. The benevolency of government includes proper education about the consequences of proposed legislations. Government must then assume responsibility for such consequences from premature actions.


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