Anyone who gets a prescription for medical marijuana is welcome to use it in West Chester Township. But the township does not welcome businesses associated with the producing marijuana.(Photo: File photo)
Earlier this month, The Enquirer featured two letters to the editor that were very critical of the legalization of marijuana. One suggested marijuana use caused a fatal accident, and the other concerned marijuana being a gateway drug. I am no expert, but I thought I would share my research.
In 1969, I was a junior in college and member of a fraternity. That year I learned that a prospective member had a history of smoking marijuana. While the substance was becoming more fashionable, I was uncertain. But any given fraternity brother could “blackball” a nominee, thereby keeping him out of our group. Taking my power seriously, I decided to speak to our chapter adviser, a family physician in our southeast Ohio community. He gladly informed me of all the horrors of marijuana usage, including all the stereotypes that were bandied about then and even to this day. I blackballed this individual based on his account. I was lobbied intensely from my fellow “brothers” to change my vote, but I steadfastly refused.
The year after I graduated, I came to find a book called “Marijuana: The New Prohibition.” It had just been published and the author was John Kaplan. Kaplan had served in 1966 as the Assistant U.S. Attorney in California and former prosecutor of drug law violators. A short while later, he was asked to rewrite the California penal code for drugs under then-Gov. Ronald Reagan. After two years of research, he submitted the findings of his committee, which included research scientists, physicians, lawmakers and psychologists. He was summarily fired and removed from his appointment. His act