The column also increases my unease about widening access to marijuana _ and there is no doubt that legalization will make the drug more widely available. Do we really need another stupifying substance to take the edge off reality? After the long battle to marginalize smoking cigarettes, why encourage another health risk? Of course, marijuana will always be readily available, legalized or not. Of course, alcohol does far more damage. But these, to me, are hardly arguments in favour of legalizing marijuana. They should be cautions.Of course, there are gobs of comments by people saying that Dowd was being stupid by taking this without spending some time researching the risks first. We all know that most adults (and nearly all teenagers) do that level of research before they start smoking pot, drinking, or any of those other "cool" things that they do!
UPDATE: One of the comments apparently came in from 1970. Very, very few people are in prison for marijuana possession -- and as I have pointed out before, it is usually because this was a plea bargain down from some much more serious crime.
The same commenter thought that it was unfair that someone would be banned from joining the military for life for a marijuana conviction. Again: this isn't 1970. The U.S. Army's list of disqualifiers is really not like that:
If you have a marijuana addiction problem, or you have a conviction for trafficking, or you have two or more charges of possession in the last three years, you aren't going to be able to join the military. But possession is not a lifetime disqualifier.