Marijuana laws, money making and double standards

America, the legalization of marijuana is not the answer.

The effort to legalize marijuana is an absolute cop-out to make more money for the states. It is not a sincere effort to confront the hard core issues of marijuana misuse and substance abuse in New York and states across America.

Marijuana is extremely addictive, and it literally destroys both mental and physical health in the lives of misusers and abusers.

However, legalizing medical marijuana, where it is clearly medically warranted, watched and carefully administered by trained medical professionals, is the wiser choice.

Currently, we have blatant discrimination in marijuana arrests all over America in which African-Americans and Latinos are arrested in far greater percentages than white people. An effort is greatly needed to fight double standards.

Summonses to appear in court, instead of arrests, can free up much needed funds for substance abuse prevention.

The unjust, racist double standard regarding arrests should be stopped, but not the illegal use of marijuana.

Most of all, a plan and push for substance abuse prevention and training is needed to transform the deeply wounded soul of America. When someone is totally high on marijuana and is committing horrible acts of physical, verbal, mental and sexual abuse, the laws against marijuana use are needed.

REV. ARTHUR L. MACKEY JR.

Roosevelt, N.Y.

The writer is senior pastor of Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral in New York.

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