Bulletin reporter Jay Huff asked visitors in North Platte what they think about legalizing marijuana. They told him:
Lawrence Brooks, 47, office manager from Omaha
It could be a good deal to decriminalize it and tax it, both on the federal and state levels. Our politicians are always looking for more money and their other resources are running out.
I have acquaintances that use pot socially and theyíre a lot less likely to be involved in a traffic accident or get into some sort of violent activity than drinkers.
Myself, I abstain from both alcohol and pot, but would be willing to try pot if it wasnít such a legal risk. I feel, as do a lot of others that some of the violent crime would diminish because the illegal dealers would not have the demand they do now and I would hope less young people would turn to alcohol.
Also, anything with the medical possibilities that are becoming evident in marijuana more should be done to research those.
Might as well
Mike Keifer, 31, Tech Sergeant, U.S. Air Force
Might as well make it legal, not for everyone, but for adults with some rules attached. That might cut down on the back alley drug dealing and could provide a lot of tax income. Pot doesnít cause as much violence and deaths as alcohol.
In my experience, cell phones cause more accidents than pot. I have two acquaintances that have had a car wreck because of their cell phones. I canít recall any that have because of pot.
Like a lot of others, I can see how legalizing it would generate a lot of income for the government. I also think it should be done with common sense though and come with regulations.
Peaceful pot smokers
Michelle Paterno, 27, bartender in Hoxie, Kan
I see people every day that drink and the troubles they get into. I have friends that use pot and they arenít wrecking cars, beating their partners or punching cops. I think pot should be as available as liquor but should have similar laws on it too. The prison system would be a lot less overwhelmed if we werenít locking up so many for minor pot violations.
Okay, with rules
Max Herrick, 61, retired counselor from New Mexico
In my work I saw people who used all sorts of intoxicants. The worst troubles I saw were alcohol related.
Some, of course, had used the harder drugs and ruined their lives. However, the ones that favored marijuana were rarely in trouble for violence and major crimes ó mostly just because they got caught with what is at this time, an illegal substance.
I donít condone the use of anything illegal, but, if decriminalized, pot should have rules and restrictions, just as alcohol does.