Drug abuse doesn’t begin with a needle in one’s arm, like it reportedly ended for Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. It begins with a cloud of marijuana smoke and a string of bad decisions.
This is not to say that every Justin Bieber will end up like Hoffman. But marijuana, like any drug, is a slippery slope. One that we, as a society, must tread carefully.
A few weeks ago, when Philadelphia City Councilman Jim Kenney introduced a bill that would decriminalize low-amount marijuana possession, allowing police officers to issue a summons requiring offenders to appear in a special program begun by District Attorney Seth Williams, it was a good decision.
Williams’ “Small Amount of Marijuana” program requires offenders to attend a three-hour drug-abuse class and pay a $200 fine. The slap on the wrist is aimed at moving 3,000 marijuana cases out of the main court system each year. And according to Kenney, his bill, if enacted, would free up 17,000 police hours spent processing marijuana offenders.
I support that.
But I don’t believe we should completely legalize marijuana.
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