Remove pot prohibition

JR Reynolds is a former radio talk show host and staunch advocate for the repeal of unjust laws concerning the medical and personal use of marijuana. He lives in Reno.

Misinformation for the purpose of perpetuating a lie is wrong. Most of us were told this by our parents. And yet, today we allow government officials to twist the truth to suit their agenda.

Case in point: Marijuana laws. These laws were not created to protect society at large, but rather to protect the interests of those who profit from marijuana’s illegality. The feds seem to have the biggest need to see that this plant remains against the law regardless of the fact that individual states and the populace within see it differently.

Nevada voters have consistently been in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. I suppose that may be the reason Washington, D.C., sent Drug Czar John Walters to Nevada to lobby against our local initiative back in ‘06. In fact, we were voting to do the right thing—literally legalize this plant (up to an ounce for those people 21 and older).

Support for the initiative came from many sources. Perhaps the most telling was the outspoken conformation from some 32 churches. Why? Rabbi Myra Soifer of Temple Sinai explained it: “General moral concern about drugs plays in the hands of those opposed to this question. But we’re also morally concerned about justice, and we believe that Question 7 is an appropriate way to regulate the use of small amounts of marijuana by adults.” She went on to say that marijuana should join alcohol and tobacco as a drug that the government regulates to prevent excess.

The solution is obvious to all but the fat cats who suck on the teat of illegality. It comes down to greed.

• The drug war is financed by taxpayers.

• The pharmaceutical industry has a keen interest in keeping pot illegal.

• Many companies benefit financially from marijuana’s illegality?

• Job security for the drug warriors.

Here’s the reality: “One of marijuana’s greatest advantages as a medicine is its remarkable safety. It has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of a lethal overdose. … Marijuana is also far less addictive and less subject to abuse than many drugs now used as muscle relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics.” This quote comes from the Journal of the American Medical Association commentary.

The evidence is all very clear, and if only we stop being bullied by the federal government, we can make a difference here in Nevada.

Think of the serious damage done to society attributed to the annual arrest of 400,000 mostly young people on marijuana charges. I was naïve to believe that once people understood that marijuana was much less harmful than drugs that are already legal, the laws against it would be repealed. To this day that has not happened.