IQ: A koan for moderns 

Many a person who savors a few cold ones on Friday night, or who enjoys a chilled Chardonnay with his foie gras, adamantly opposes marijuana — even for medicinal purposes. Legality aside, how is use of one different from the other?

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John Theodore
Fillmore & Centennial

Researcher at Focus on the Family

How do you view marijuana? It's a recreational drug with an addictive side. I have friends who've smoked it 30 or 40 years, and they can't seem to do anything — eat, go to the movies — without using it to enhance the experience.

Have you ever used it? Years and years ago.

Is medical marijuana legitimate? I have compassion for people undergoing pain, so I can understand its medicinal use. Too bad, though, that it has the druggy side effects.

Why is it opposed so vehemently in some quarters? I suspect some of it is due to its association with the counterculture.

Why do we sanction alcohol, but outlaw marijuana? We've already tried to outlaw alcohol, but it didn't work. It's too ubiquitous.

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Jennifer Britt

Retired massage therapist & healer

Relate your attitude toward marijuana. Complete indifference. I think that putting any drug in your body is negative, including alcohol, but I don't judge people who do.

Have you ever used marijuana? Yes. I had an unpleasant reaction to it.

Is medical marijuana legitimate? Definitely. It's probably true that it's used here and there by people without medical conditions to warrant it, but who cares?

Why is its use attacked and defended so passionately? It's like politics — everyone is polarized. They can't see any middle ground.

Explain the difference between alcohol and marijuana usage. Both are drugs. One is legal, the other isn't.

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Adam Kretz

College administrator

What is your view of marijuana? It's probably demonized and overregulated.

How about medical marijuana? We as a society should strive to provide quality health care, and doctor-prescribed marijuana is a piece of that puzzle. Studies show that it alleviates pain and the negative effects of various ailments.

Why is its use attacked and defended with such vehemence? Those attacking it like to regulate behavior in line with what they think is good and bad. Those defending it resent external forces telling them what they can and can't do in private.

How do alcohol and marijuana use differ? Both offer enjoyable ways to wind down with friends, both can impair motor skills, both can be used excessively. Neither one should be prohibited.

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