Legalizing pot will increase drug problems

To the editor:

I am strongly opposed to the effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. I firmly believe that marijuana is a gateway drug.

It is very common for people who have struggled with opioid addiction to have started out by using marijuana. I think that it is very ironic that we are in the midst of an opioid crisis throughout the commonwealth and now we are trying to legalize marijuana.

Go to any halfway house or prison or house of correction and find out first hand how people started their pathway to addiction and the majority of the responses will include smoking marijuana.

If this ballot question is passed in November, what message will we be sending to the youth of our community and to people who are struggling with opioid addiction? I strongly recommend that all voters oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.

William D. Barry, Pittsfield The writer is a former Ward 1 Pittsfield city councilor.



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