Dear Editor,

This letter is to clear up the misconception regarding my motivation for criticizing the city council’s decision on cannabis sales in Menominee.

My intention was not to promote the social acceptance or the use of cannabis, with 85% of our country recognizing cannabis has therapeutic value and nearly 70% in favor of legalization at the federal level, I think that boat has already sailed.

Using religion to demonize or justify cannabis use is pointless. If you are a Baptist, it is the devil’s weed and if you are a Rastafarian, it is a holy sacrament. One of the principals our country was founded on is separation of church and state. Religion should never be used as a basis for forming our laws.

So far as the experience of Colorado’s legalization and related traffic fatalities, the data is not as clear as a previous letter writer professes. The data has been skewed due to the fact that Colorado has almost tripled its annual screenings for cannabis since 2009. They also lowered the threshold for a positive test from 2 Ng/ml (Nanograms per milliliter) to 1 Ng/ml despite the legal limit for impaired driving has been established at 5 Ng/ml. My son is a fireman for the City of Denver; he would tell you cannabis is not a major problem in the city.

The fact is traffic fatalities overall have gone down in states that have approved medical and recreational cannabis use. Another benefit has been the double-digit drop in opioid overdoses in states where dispensaries have been approved.

The statistics attributed to the International Journal of Drug Policy I did not check; when I found they are government-funded, I realize they are not an unbiased source of information. In 1976, our government passed a bill that forbids all promising federal research into cannabis.

It was said that one-point laws are meant to protect. They protect the tobacco industry, they protect the pharmaceutical industry, they protect the petrochemical industry, they protect the for-profit prison industry and they even protect the mining industry.

We have laws to protect our children; you can’t open a dispensary within 1,000 feet of a school. How about a law you can’t open a mine within 1,000 feet of a river? Who are we protecting and from what?

The evidence is clear a well-run cannabis industry would produce far more sustainable jobs and revenue for our county with a positive effect on our environment over the long-term compared to a toxic mine that will poison us for years to come.


Dean Barbeau