Drama versus facts in criticisms of cannabis

In response to a recent letter to the editor entitled “Baker City should continue to prohibit pot sales,” published Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

Mr. Carnahan wrote that “in Deschutes County 10 years ago, 85% of crimes were directly related to methamphetamine alone.” OK. But methamphetamine isn’t cannabis, and Baker County isn’t Deschutes County. Cannabis is a plant, natural, and legal for purchase and use by individuals age 21 and over. Methamphetamine, on the other hand, is a manufactured synthetic substance, and still illegal, no matter what age you are.

He posed the question, “If it’s only about the money, are Tombstonesque saloons with full gambling, drunken brawls, and upstairs whorehouses the next consideration?” He certainly has a flair for being a bit over-dramatic, I’ll give him that. But let’s put emotion aside and look at some actual data. Medical News Today reports that alcohol does more damage to the brain than cannabis, which appeared to have zero significant long-term effects on brain structure. Now, I can’t speak to the negative effects of Tombstonesque saloons, full gambling, drunken brawls, or upstairs whorehouses. However, more harm comes to those under the influence of alcohol than those of cannabis. He can check the numbers if he has any doubts.

The benefits, not just in tax revenue, far outweigh the “detriments.” Otherwise, why would the medical community be writing out prescriptions for it? Just because Mr. Carnahan refuses to accept the fact that cannabis is now legal in our state, it doesn’t negate the truth that it is, in fact, legal. Period. So, he can either start pushing for legislation banning the manufacture, distribution, sales and consumption of alcohol (which didn’t work so well in the ’20s and ’30s), or spare us his emotion-driven sensationalism.

Christopher Baker

Baker City