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Letter: Thirty years later . . .

I was quite interested in the Monitor’s editorial on drugs and particularly with respect to marijuana (“The right drug war, and the wrong one,” Sept. 4). It took me back to the 1980s when a representative took a look at how so many young college students were getting their lives harmed or ruined by being convicted of a felony for possessing just one joint. He was sorry to see them suffer this fate for a simple mistake of experimenting with a drug that wasn’t too much more harmful than alcohol, so he introduced a bill to decriminalize less than an ounce of marijuana and make it a misdemeanor.

How he was vilified for even proposing such a thing – especially by William Loeb, who was then publisher of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper. Loeb referred to him as a “snake” who was trying to ruin the whole state and make it a haven for drug addicts. Of course, with his help the bill was defeated. Now I see that even U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t think it was such a bad idea.

I wonder how many young people’s lives would have been changed for the better if this had happened 30 years ago.



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