The movement to legalize pot has prompted a discussion about the drug's safety, particularly for children. Letter to the editor:
It's delightful to learn that former congressman Patrick Kennedy, like every other American, longs to keep drugs out of the hands of children. ("Legalizing pot endangers children").
YOUR SAY INTERACTIVE : Medical pot grows. Should recreational?
Unfortunately, the underground market in marijuana does a poor job of checking IDs. Licensed distributors who could lose their livelihood for underage sales would be markedly more motivated to keep the plant from children.
Let's not leave marijuana sales in the hands of criminals. Let's not tie up our police by forcing them to chase minor infractions. A taxed and regulated market is the safest way to protect our children.
Mitch Earleywine; Albany, N.Y.
Comments from Facebook and Twitter are edited for clarity and grammar:
As the mother of a teenage son, I would never want to live in a state where pot is legal. The fact that it is illegal where I live is my most powerful weapon against its use. The struggle is also there with alcohol and cigarettes. Don't ever start. Once you do, and a habit forms, your life will change, and not for the better.
— Julia S Wallace
I understand that mothers have concerns, but criminalizing marijuana is a profoundly immoral position, and a practical failure to boot. Adults do not give up their rights to engage in activities just because those might be harmful to children. If that were the case, we would be permitted to do very few things indeed.
— Adam Hartman
Where marijuana is legal, parents should employ the same tactics they use to prevent their children from smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol before they are of age. What's the problem?
— Greg Gibson
No law enacted or proposed allows use by minors. Tell us how well prohibition has worked to keep substances out of minors' hands.
— Mike Parent
Marijuana doesn't have to be legal to do away with excessive punishments. Just reduce those irrational punishments. The truth is that the more drugs a nation uses, the more degraded it becomes. Pot can be dangerous, and for many people addictive.
— Modesto Rodriguez Montes
I am concerned about people driving stoned but thinking they are OK to drive. It does impair judgment!
I have no more concerns than with alcohol. We need to reform drug laws. Period.
As a high school health teacher, I witness students diminish their potential because this drug consumes their lives.
Tobacco, alcohol and psychiatric drugs can be worse than marijuana.
Alcohol and tobacco are dangerous. If we regulate marijuana for its medicinal benefits, we are in good shape.