SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



Drug abuse affects everyone in some way
By George Jackson


April 11, 2006
Tuesday PM

I am writing in response to Catlin Rettke's letter on the freedom to use drugs responsibly. I am a 32 year old man who has was born and raised in Ketchikan Alaska. In my 32 years I have seen many wonder drugs used for medical purposes do many wonderful things for people - I know who were in need of that medication.

Not in need for addiction reasons, but in need for physical reasons. On the other hand I have seen people who attempt to use "recreational drugs" for their own personal enjoyment. I have yet to see a responsible "recreational user" quit at will. I work in a half-way house for men. Many of the clients tried to avoid becoming addicted to their drugs of choice, obviously with no success. I have never heard of anyone who wanted to be a casual drug user.

Back in my own more colorful days, many teenage high school students had experimented with both legal and illegal drugs, (back then marijuana was still legal). However, nowadays the drugs people are using "recreationally" are far more serious than the marijuana people had used "recreationally".

Many people who smoke marijuana use it regularly for quite some time with little or no consequences. Some people who smoke marijuana responsibly don't see it as an addiction. Often some of those same people make comments like, "when have you ever heard of a man stoned off pot going home and beating his wife?" Okay, I have to agree that people who smoke a recreational joint every now and then tend to be mellow, lethargic and even friendly, but how do you explain the Cotting murder indictment? (Baldino.) Here we have a young man who was staying with his stepmother while his dad was out of town on business and when his stepmother caught him with marijuana she decided to talk to him about it. He allegedly murdered her, stuffed her in the freezer and waited for his dad to come home. When questioned by the police, he stated that he didn't remember exactly what happened because he was too stoned. Rape charges where also added to his rap sheet.

Now-a-days the new drug of choice for "recreational" use is amphetamines and methamphetamines, far more severe compared to marijuana. If a young man is capable of murder and rape of his step mom while under the influence of marijuana what would a responsible person under the influence of amphetamines or methamphetamines be capable of?

One might say that the example cited in this commentary (Cotting) is the exception to the rule, but what a big exception, which calls into question the age-old excuse that people under the influence of marijuana do not engage in violent behavior. Others, to justify their use of this drug (which to unfortunately resort to a cliche is, in fact a gateway drug), will claim that marijuana is not addictive. Woe to those who have to deal with a pothead who can't afford today's hit. The re-legalization of "mere marijuana" is bad enough, given everyone's (mis)perceptions about its innocuous nature; the idea of legalizing the far more lethal drugs whose effects are more extreme is frightening to say the least. From the financial difficulties, to the destroyed families, and even the innocent bystanders, the effects of all the illegal drugs are far-reaching and most who argue that point are looking for a leg to stand on merely to justify their own use. Drug abuse, unfortunately for all of us, affects everyone in some way or another, in spite of the denial of that fact by those who use them, and usually become addicted to them.

George Jackson
Sitka, AK - USA

About: George Jackson has lived in the southeast for 32 years and is majoring in Business Administration through UAS Southeast.



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