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IQ: Drug Usage 

Colorado is helping to lead the pack in terms of drug usage and, with our governor and most Republican legislators continuing to embrace the so-called "war on drugs," the number of people sent to prison for drug offenses in this state has risen 350 percent over the past 10 years. Meanwhile, we rank first nationally in marijuana use and 49th in the money spent for drug rehabilitation. Are we waging the wrong war?

click to enlarge Andrew Pearce
  • Andrew Pearce

Andrew Pearce
Mechanic
Hood: Village 7

Where does Colorado rank nationally in marijuana use? In the top 20, at least. I know a lot of people who smoke it.

Who is the enemy in the war on drugs? This so-called war is bull. Marijuana is far less socially destructive and physically hazardous than alcohol. They'll never stop its use, and we could eliminate the national debt by legalizing and taxing it.

click to enlarge Bill Shomaker
  • Bill Shomaker

Bill Shomaker
Respiratory therapist
Hood: Manitou Springs

Where does Colorado rank nationally in marijuana use? Somewhere in the top 10.

Are we winning the war on drugs? If we were, use would be down. The threat of prison doesn't get at the root causes. If they outlawed adultery, people would still do it.

Who is the enemy in this war? We all are. Even if you don't use it [marijuana], there's a likelihood that someone in your family will at some time or other. Sooner or later, directly or indirectly, you're going to be on the wrong end.

Should marijuana be legalized? Yes. The marijuana laws are ruining too many young lives.

click to enlarge John McKanna
  • John McKanna

John McKanna
Bookstore employee
Hood: Holland Park

Where does Colorado rank nationally in marijuana use? In the top 10. More people use it here daily than anywhere else I go.

Are we winning the war on drugs? No, because most people who use marijuana don't really believe it's wrong.

W>ho is the enemy in this war?Should marijuana be legalized? I think so, but with limitations on use similar to those on alcohol and cigarettes.

click to enlarge Patricia O'Brien
  • Patricia O'Brien

Patricia O'Brien
College professor
Hood: Chicago

Should marijuana be legalized? It shouldn't be legalized; it should be de-criminalized. It's outrageous that people can go to prison for possession of marijuana.

Who is the enemy in the war on drugs? There's clearly an 'Us' and a 'Them' in this 'war,' but the 'Us' is increasingly mainstream, not just undocumented aliens or persons of color.

What should we do to help addicts? We need more variety of treatment and less of a one-size-fits-all approach. We need to meet people where they are; treat their needs holistically to include the social issues and problems that drive their choices.

-- Bob Campbell

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