Dear Editor:

A TV ad says Amendment 3 will increase state revenue, police funding, and aid to veterans, but the ad makes no mention of the recreational marijuana that it will legalize. KY3 News showed one person who supports the amendment, another who thinks it should be legalized but by another method, but no one who opposed. There is another viewpoint.
A friend in Colorado said when it was legalized there in 2012, vehicle accidents increased and thus car insurance is now much higher – which is paid by individuals, not the state. Accidents increase medical needs, so those costs and insurance also rise, again paid by individuals, not the state.
A friend in California had to close her home day care center due to marijuana fumes drifting into her yard from a neighbor who began smoking it. I left a grocery in West Plains at dusk in September this year, saw two men talking and smoking but thought nothing of it until I inhaled the nauseating stench of marijuana. If legalized, the stench could be smelled on sidewalks, in city parks, in clothing of nearby shoppers, at campsites, or on float trips. Non-users would have no protection from it. After decades of warning about second-hand smoke and health hazards of regular smoking, why would anyone want more smoking of anything?
Marijuana has negative effects on the brain, especially a developing one. Its use in the 1960s was bad enough, but newer strains are more potent. Its use correlates with increase in domestic violence. Addiction is possible, and many progress to using harder, illegal drugs, thus increasing crime and drug trafficking. Adding more people to welfare from mental incapacitation or inability to work and more people to prisons for crimes would quickly offset any “benefits” to state revenues. Expect insufficient “benefits” that would lead to increased taxes. 
Other amendments are about half a newspaper column long – but this one is about 29 full columns long. If “the devil is in the details”, this has many, many devils embedded in it. If voters open this Pandora’s box, we will never be able to rein in the ills and evils that would result. Keep Missouri decent. Vote “NO” on Amendment 3.
D. Higgins, Birch Tree
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