I strongly support legalizing marijuana. Booze, cigarettes and prescription drugs kill millions worldwide every year, but I know of no one killed from using only marijuana.

In the 1970s I took some tokes offered to me, but I have never sold, never bought, never grown marijuana in my life.

If I had a disease where my only choices were a prescription drug or medical marijuana, I would choose marijuana — no question. Eating it raw or vaporizing it is healthier than smoking it.

More than 4,000 years ago a leading Chinese doctor recommended marijuana for many of the same sicknesses doctors now prescribe it for. Marijuana has 75 unique healing ingredients not found in any other plant. Marijuana is the single most versatile herbal remedy on earth. No other plant contains as wide a range of healing herbal ingredients. Marijuana can help cancer, PTSD, chronic pain, nausea, inflammation, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, other dementia, immunity, appetite, glaucoma, Lou Gehrig’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, anorexia, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, insomnia, arthritis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and hospice patients.

I damn the racist U.S. drug war which is devastating low-income communities of color. Far more African-Americans and Latino youth percentage-wise get locked up for marijuana than Anglo youth, even though rates of use are about the same. U.S. hysteria against marijuana was rooted for decades in racism against Mexicans and African-Americans, and in the greed of timber, petrochemical and drug companies.

The last three U.S. presidents — Clinton, George Bush and Obama — all admitted to past use of marijuana. All three were later re-elected. If they had grown up low-income and non-white in the inner city, they all might have lived in prison instead of the White House, and in some states, never allowed to vote for president for the rest of their lives — let alone become president.

Until marijuana is legal in New Mexico, I refuse to risk arrest, court, fines and jail for myself or for whoever would sell marijuana to me, if I were to use marijuana without being approved for medical marijuana. I refuse to make my life more secretive and to increase my fear of police.

Buying imported illegal marijuana from Mexico pays for the drug gangs to mass murder thousands of people in Mexico.

Except for the serious legal risk, I would infinitely prefer my friends using their own homegrown organic marijuana instead of smoking any cigarettes or drinking any booze.

Don Schrader
Daily Lobo reader