LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Rinearson’s column misleads as to danger of marijuana use

I just finished reading the most ridicules column I have ever read. Mr. Bob Rinerson wrote, “but, at the top of the drug list is marijuana. It remains the most commonly used drug.” I don’t know what nation Mr. Rinerson lives in, but in the United States, it isn’t even close. According to Gallup and CNN polls, there are about 32 million Americans that have smoked Marijuana in the past 30 days, According to the CDC about 125 million Americans drank alcohol in the last 30 days. According to the CDC, about 36.5 smoke cigarettes regularly. Yes, Virginia, alcohol and tobacco are drugs. These are the two main gateway drugs, Marijuana isn’t even a close third.

According to the CDC, tobacco use cost Americans 170 billion in health care cost. This raises all our health insurance cost. Tobacco is responsible 156 billion dollars in lost productivity per year. A total cost of 326 billion per year. 480,000 Americans die annually in U.S. There are 35 to 40 million alcoholics in the U. S. 88,000 American alcohol-related deaths annually in U.S. Alcohol abuse cost 174 billion in lost productivity per year, 28 billion in health care cost, 13 billion in auto collisions, and 25 billion to the criminal justice system, for a total of 249 billion per year.

But, the real cost comes in the destruction of families and heartache. The annual cost of marijuana per year, negligible.

The number of verified marijuana death per year; ZERO.

Mr. Rinerson would have you believe marijuana is the scourge of the nation. This could not be further from the truth. Not even taking in the medical benefits of marijuana, the recreational use pales in comparison to tobacco and alcohol as being a scourge. Where marijuana use increases in a state, alcohol abuse decreases statistically. America would be a far better place if Americans traded their alcohol and tobacco use for marijuana use. Marijuana’s potential for good, far outweighs it’s potential for evil. I urge every state to legalize marijuana immediately. This would be a far better nation were it so.

— Steve Smith, Fort Wayne