Please rescind efforts to legalize marijuana and try to help those caught up in drug-taking. Please help the rising generation to grow into drug-free adults who have not diminished their will power, their motivation, their intellect, and who have not impaired their mental and physical well- being. How can we hope to maintain a free and thriving society, and how can we hope maintain a viable representative democracy dependent on an educated citizenry, if you take unconstitutional steps that in effect spread the use of the last thing any sane society needs and underdeveloped societies are currently shunning: an instantaneous intoxicant with psychoactive properties that so deleteriously affect the weakest, the youngest, and the oldest in our community while impacting the economy through the loss of productivity and loss of a viable tourism trade. Please do not continue to follow this path that will turn a beautiful historic treasure of a city that should honor the legacy of the Founders of the nation and the nation’s heroes and great leaders into a Denver or an Amsterdam and contribute to the problems of its youth and its elderly, its mentally ill, its developmentally disabled, its homeless population, its unemployed, its underserved, its former users, its current users, its naïve experimenters, and so many others who are being and will be immediately harmed by the spread of the use of marijuana.”
“Many feel that those in lower socioeconomic groups have been unjustly targeted even with the minimal penalties that now exist with decriminalization in D.C. There is a very easy way to remedy this. What you need to do is simply follow the lead of other jurisdictions throughout the country who provide drug court services and other in lieu of incarceration and in lieu of prosecution approaches to dealing with drug use. For instance in Maryland, users are being given the option of going into counselling, treatment or rehab and thereby avoiding penalties, avoiding adjudication, and avoiding a record. Simple.
An excerpt from the October 30, 2014 testimony by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D. on the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2013” before Joint Committees of the Council of the District of Columbia: Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs and Committee on Finance and Revenue