A reader writes:
I favor marijuana legalization, but I am a little concerned about your recent posts highlighting self-written profiles of pot users portraying themselves as responsible citizens. I do not smoke marijuana now, but I did smoke it as an undergraduate in college. I quit for a reason - and I remember that reason quite well.
Around the time crack hit the streets, I saw a magazine cover story on the so-called war on drugs (I believe it was Time magazine, some time in the mid-eighties). The cover had a picture of a burning building, and the article had graphic pictures of dead bodies resulting from police raids and/or turf wars between dealers.
In an instant, it struck me that every dime I spent on pot was going into the hands of a criminal....and that even if my own dealer was a non-violent guy, all that money was eventually winding up in the hands of very dangerous people. The recent violence in Mexico involves trafficking primarily in marijuana - not crack. These are people who behead other people. When I saw that article and had that sudden intuition, I never paid for pot again, and quit smoking other people's pot very soon thereafter.
I believe there are instances where civil disobedience to unjust laws is morally justified. However, it is hard for me to accept that the pleasure derived pot provides proportionate reason to fund killers. As long as pot smoking is illegal, I believe it is irresponsible to promote flagrant disregard for the law. Every penny spent on those illegal drugs eventually goes to very bad people - terrorists, torturers, and murders!