In response to Tim Hoyt's article of May 10, featuring congressional candidate Mark Creamer, I should like to make the following remarks:
We are all aware that committing a crime is likely to bring a certain amount of negative notoriety to an individual. To break the law within the confines of the Judicial Center, which stands for something that most of us respect is tacky enough, but to use the ensuing notoriety as a platform from which to launch one's political aspirations is horrendous. Mr. Creamer states that "being high on marijuana is less of a crime than being drunk in public." Is he a lawyer? "Marijuana is less dangerous than aspirin." Is he a doctor? He is reported to be a master craftsman with a degree in psychology and human relations from Kansas University. I also hold a degree in psychology from KU and I have some advice for Mr. Creamer.
He should educate himself about both short- and long-term effects of marijuana, and if he cannot do that, he should stick to his career as a craftsman. I worked as the director of prevention for DCCCA, where I developed and implemented drug abuse prevention programs in schools and communities in a seven-county area in northeastern Kansas. I greatly resent the suggestion presented by Mr. Creamer in the Journal-World that smoking marijuana is not harmful. Where did he glean such knowledge? What about the children in our community who have been exposed to drug abuse education programs and who also read the newspaper? Should not someone point out that marijuana intoxication leads to disturbances in attention, abnormalities in peripheral vision, short-term memory loss and misperception of time and space? Are these mental processes not important for learning in the classroom and exercising new skills such as driving the family car? Does not long-term use of marijuana affect some users' motivation and personality and act as a gateway to the abuse of other drugs? Does not marijuana smoke include much more carcinogenic "tars" than that of ordinary cigarettes?
I, for one, do not intend to promote anyone's campaign for public office that is based on the use of an illegal drug that the user knows little about and who smokes it to gain the public eye and a free ride in the media.
Sonia Ann Juola,