Letter: Two wrongs do not make a right

Posted 6/24/22

In their article, “Hypocrisy over cannabis vs. alcohol is striking,” Annie Silvia and Beth Vorro decry Bristol’s opening of a fourth micro-brewery while opposing marijuana …

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Letter: Two wrongs do not make a right

Posted

In their article, “Hypocrisy over cannabis vs. alcohol is striking,” Annie Silvia and Beth Vorro decry Bristol’s opening of a fourth micro-brewery while opposing marijuana dispensaries. Maybe there is some hypocrisy here, and I am sure we are shocked, just shocked, to find hypocrisy in this matter.

The decision by the town leaders to oppose the establishment of marijuana dispensaries in our town is a good decision. Allowing such dispensaries normalizes the use of a mind-altering drug that has proven to be not only a road safety issue, but more importantly a gateway drug and one that is harmful in many ways to adolescent youth. What kind of message are we sending to our citizens and our youth about the use of a harmful drug, especially when the U.S. is having an epidemic of fatal opioid/fentanyl drug overdoses that is especially affecting young adults?

The negative health impacts of cannabis use are indisputable. Researchers have found that schizophrenia, depression and many of the same cancer-causing substances as smoked tobacco are to be found in cannabis. Cannabis use can also negatively affect the health and well-being of adolescents’ and young adults, including their school performance, education level, social lives, future employment and income.

There are inherent dangers with alcohol, but the differences in the consumption and effects of alcohol differ from drug use. Cannabis is now much more potent than years ago. In an immigrant community like Bristol, wine has traditionally been an accompaniment to meals rather than a straight out intoxicant. Those who drink beer at a craft brewery and one of the few pubs in Bristol do so more for the social connection.  

Because we have one so called wrong does not mean that we should promote another. As a community, Bristol can make a stand and send a message that we do not support a drug that not only harms the individual, but society at large. 

Michael Byrnes
Bristol

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.