As much as I appreciate the reality expressed by reader Jack Bragen (3/10/2010) and agree with much of it. As an adult child of a mentally ill single mom and it appears world in many regards, certainly schizophrenic based society in America, I am compelled to retort.
Simply that, the ills resultant from legalization of pot will not significantly be compounded compared to the good it will do in de-stigmatizing it's use for medical and recreational purposes. My take on it after decades of consumption is, that like all intoxicants it should be moderated responsibly. More-so that marijuana used moderately and responsibly has far less potentially destructive side effects. Also that at present and historically has a spiritual and or creative component that in my experience has relatively no negative side effects, certainly compared to alcohol. Jack made valid points regarding some potential negatives but considering that people, mentally ill or not, have and will be confronted with use opportunities and issues, (responsible or not), legalizing it without question will have profound immediate and long term effect on changing a largely right wing facade moralist domination of society and many other ills, like the rampant proliferation of the prison industrial complex for starters. There will always be people that make poor or uninformed choices about healthy living and lifestyles. Legalizing marijuana won't change that. My experience of Mary Jane is simply that it magnifies whatever your nature. So as with all things it's always more about the person and self awareness than the substance or any external influence. Education and responsibility ultimately being the mediating factors. Interesting, considering America(ns) has fallen so far below the fold of both in my half century of life. As for the Governor and the money, I agree and believe that pot could actually save America's economy, especially if all the hemp products were propagated and promulgated. The short version.