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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moms Say Marijuana Okay, Punitive Policies No Way

By Ron Crumpton

Of the many war cries used by advocates in their quest to legalize marijuana, perhaps the strangest of these is “do it for the children.”

However, if you attended the Press Conference held in California by members of the Women’s Marijuana Party, then that is exactly what you heard.

According to attorney and mother of two Hanna Dershowitz, it might be counterintuitive.

“I have the conversation [with my kids] every day about how much sugar is appropriate,” said Dershowitz. “The right thing is to have a reasonable conversation in the context of controlled, regulated marijuana.”

Gretchen Burns Bergman
The group had many reasons for their support of the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, but perhaps the most compelling of those came from substance abuse counselor and Executive Director and Co-Founder of A New PATH Gretchen Burns Bergman.

In 1990, her oldest son, now in his thirties, was arrested for marijuana possession. She said that the initial arrest of her son led to a decade of cycling in and out of the prison system for non-violent, low-level drug possession charges.

This experience gave her a unique understanding of how the justice system in America treats marijuana users. Bergman said that a mother never stops advocating for her children, and that is why she is advocating for a change in California’s drug laws.

“Mothers are leading the charge, just as during the 30s,” she said. “Not because we love drugs and alcohol, but because we love our children and we cannot stand the costs of our punitive policies.”

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