Today we feature additional letters received by The Gazette Editorial Board, responding to the perspective series "Clearing the Haze." We received numerous emails from readers, the vast majority of which were supportive of the package, thanking us for the series.
Highly politicized issue
Thank you for your objective questioning of the topic and your willingness to dive into a highly politicized issue with objective analysis. The industry seems to be populated with highly motivated promoters of pot. However, there is, I think, a large majority of quietly concerned people who know that there is a dark underbelly.
The data that I have seen show an increasing utilization of pot, especially by teenagers, which does not bode well for our future economically. As an economist, I see issues through the lens of long-term productivity and expansion of opportunity.
I am concerned that the legalization of pot and its ramifications will come back to haunt us and that the early indications of the economic problems will not be identified, in part because of the rhetoric on the part of the pro pot side. Points to The Gazette for diving in.
Fallacies surrounding legalization
I read with extreme interest your publication's recent article addressing Colorado's experience with the legalization of marijuana. I wanted to thank you for this extremely well-presented and objective article.
As you may be aware, New Jersey has in place medical marijuana legislation and is now considering legalization. Articles such as yours will hopefully point out the fallacies surrounding the benefits of such a move.
Robert D. Bernardi, Burlington County prosecutor
Time society took note
Thank you for your series covering the problems w/legalizing marijuana. People forget this is still an experiment, and the need to look at the variables as they unfold is extremely important.
I am a K-12 school counselor and licensed therapist/LMFT in private practice. I've seen the ramifications of legalizing marijuana for both "medicinal" and recreational purposes. Our youths trust that if a substance is legalized, it is harmless to use.
No amount of telling young people to "wait until your 21" will work when the propaganda out there now largely states that marijuana is not only harmless, but actually medicinal when there has been no research done to prove this claim/provide guidelines and dosages.
As well, clients I see now in my private practice experience high levels of anxiety, paranoia and insomnia once habitual use sets in. Marijuana is presented as a harmless plant. The truth continues to be presented by medical and mental health experts; it is a substance that requires caution and regulation - not free range use. It is time society took note.
Living in a drug-free world
On behalf of our consortium, we take this opportunity to thank you for the good job you have done to expose the truth that many Africans were not aware. Many are now asking us on how we can rally the campaigns to let Africans know more truth about marijuana rather than fictions.
We are looking forward to working with you to reach many African countries with the message of living in a drug free world. Once again thank you for the good job, keep it up.
Pan African Substance Abuse Consortium
Citizens who don't have a voice
Kudos to The Gazette for doing such a respectable and true journalistic series on such an important issue affecting our entire state. This is the first true and comprehensive reporting on marijuana and what it is truly going on. Thank you for all your hard work and effort in putting this series together.
I know your publication will get a lot of heat from the marijuana industry and its enthusiasts.
But there a thousands of citizens like me out there who don't have a voice on this issue or who are only getting one side of the story without a real journalistic effort such as this. The marijuana industry has had its reigning voice in so many other publications such as Westword and The Denver Post Cannabist for the last year without any true objectivity.
I will be subscribing to The Gazette. Bravo!
Disappointed with Gazette's series
I was disappointed with the Gazette's recent series 'Clearing the Haze'.
First, the representation of the series as news when it was clearly editorializing is a bad approach to providing quality information. It assumes your readers are ignorant which is offensive. Calling it a perspective piece does not release The Gazette from obligation of journalistic integrity.
Second, that national attention the piece has garnered has painted Colorado Springs in a negative light, one that places our fair citizens into the category of 'rubes' once again. The Gazette has talked about improving our city in many ways but pseudo-news like this will only proliferate negative impressions of Colorado Springs.
Third, The Gazette did a huge disservice to the conversation of legalized marijuana by essentially printing a hit piece against legalization. Beginning all thoughts from a purely prohibitionist standpoint does nothing to bring any of us greater understanding about marijuana, addiction, children, problems with the justice system and on and on.
Those of us who support legalization still want to have conversations about potential issues to hopefully make the world a better place, but those conversations cannot occur when one side already has their mind made up that prohibition is the only sensible alternative.
I hope the Gazette's leadership will seriously look into their ethical obligations as journalists before printing any more 'perspective' pieces that certainly are published with the appearance of news. It does a disservice to the paper, the citizens of Colorado Springs and to quality conversations about difficult subjects.