Marijuana is not harmless and should not be legalized

Re: "President's pot comments prompt call for policy," Dec. 17

In the aftermath of the Connecticut school shooting, I find it both ironic and infuriating that a president of the United States would discuss legalization of marijuana, the drug that has been so damaging to America's children.

President Obama said he has "bigger fish to fry" than recreational pot users, but marijuana is far more dangerous than most people realize. It is currently 244 percent more potent than it was in the 1970s, and more than 15 other nations link it to schizophrenia.

No one likes to speak about the fact that it was another president, Jimmy Carter, who looked the other way while the founders of the legalization movement smoked marijuana on the White House balcony and promoted the idea that marijuana is harmless.Parents struggling to bring their children back from addiction to pot know better.

I know hundreds of parents whose children are in treatment or prison with the major diagnosis being "marijuana addiction."Dr. Robert DuPont, an internationally recognized psychiatrist and the first director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, states: "Marijuana damages the brain, lungs, reproductive and immune systems."

Pro-druggroups continue to lie about the harm done by pot and claim they don't support legalization.But the Marijuana Policy Project, or MPP, admitted in a recent newsletter that "MPP is fighting for full legalization."

-- Joyce Nalepka

President, Drug-Free Kids: America's Challenge

Silver Spring

Founders wanted to protect, not limit religion

Re: "Religious Right is the one still fighting the culture war," From Readers, Dec. 14

Among the numerous errors in David Lampo's letter is his claim that "many of our Founding Fathers were deists who did not support some of the most prominent aspects" of the Christian faith.

But the only founder who could possibly be labeled a deist was Thomas Jefferson, although he held Jesus in high esteem, even compiling a booklet of his teachings and claiming to be "sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others." With the exception of Jefferson, John Adams (Unitarian), Carroll (Catholic), and Benjamin Franklin (Quaker), most of the founders were devout Protestants.

Lampo goes on to use the old "wall of separation" argument, falsely claiming that Christians seek "to use the government to impose their religious views" on others. Lampo and his secularist allies ought to know by now that the Constitution says nothing about a wall of separation between church and state. That phrase was coined by Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802.

And Jefferson's purpose was not to limit religious expression, but to protect it from government mandates that would, as the First amendment says, "[prohibit] the free exercise" of religious faith.

The only people breaking Jefferson's wall are liberals who seek to work through the courts to threaten and stamp out any public expression of religious faith.

Joe Garber


RNC candidates bragged about their guns

I attended the Republican National Committee chairman debate at the National Press Club in 2009. What I remember vividly is the candidates prostrating themselves on the altar of gun ownership.

Specifically, Saul Anuzis mentioned that he was the proud owner of two guns. Mike Duncan, the reigning RNC chairman, boasted of owning four handguns and two rifles, followed by Ken Blackwell, who exclaimed: "I own seven, and I'm good."

Not to be outdone, Chip Saltsman of Tennessee thundered: "In my closet at home, I've got two 12-gauges, a 20-gauge, three handguns and ... " (I didn't get the last one he mentioned in my notes).

I wonder if the candidates for RNC chairman in 2013 will answer the gun ownership question from Grover Norquist quite so candidly.

-- William Rodgers

Silver Spring