West Virginia should just say no to marijuana

Thank you for your common sense opinion in the Sunday, Jan. 6, paper, in regard to the need for a study on marijuana.

I, too, am questioning the delegate from Kanawha County wishing to decriminalize marijuana.

First of all, as a retired law enforcement officer and parent of a son who struggled with addiction for twelve years, I believe I can say with some authority on the matter that decriminalizing marijuana would be a terrible decision.

The delegate tried to make his case for legalizing marijuana as a financial windfall for the state of West Virginia. My thinking is it would be a financial nightmare for the state along with additional grief to the addict — yes, addict, and their families, for the treatment of addiction.

We already suffer in this state and across the nation with alcohol, tobacco, gambling and addiction of all types of illegal drugs, which now include opioids.

I seriously question medical marijuana and its quality of health benefits, and how it would lead eventually to opening the door to recreational marijuana.

Some say the war on drugs is dead, but I say, how many lives has it saved? If only one, I say it’s worth it!

Our son at an early age experimented with alcohol and tobacco, which I know personally are highly addictive — just ask anyone who’s trying to quit. Then he tried marijuana, then cocaine and meth, the combination taking his life at 28 years of age.

Marijuana is a gateway drug and the so-called drug experts will never convince me and my family of anything other than that.

Rehabilitation for users is key; extensive, long-term. And for the sellers of this poison, the same, with the difference being prison terms of 20-25 years minimum, especially for repeat offenders.

Law enforcement will lead the way with the cooperation of legislators, the courts and a citizenry continuing the war on drugs.

I’ve seen too many lives ruined and taken by addictions, one personally.

There is no greater loss than that of a son or daughter, no matter the age.

A quote from the past is relevant today: “Just say no” to drugs, including marijuana!

David Tallman