It is great folly to legalise marijuana except for closely controlled medical use, similar to morphine, say.

The large numbers of other countries that may or may not have legalised it are irrelevant.

The numbers of users who may get put in the lockup due to their insistence on using it, are irrelevant.

What is relevant is the fact that it is mind-altering and leaves users feeling they know some secret that others don't know: a situation we call "paranoia".

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Users in this state are prone to suddenly attacking others, as we find happens.

When I used it, my friends and I believed that we were experiencing reality. Instead we were experiencing a delusion.

People who are drunk are merely drunk. People who are stoned are in another "reality", where all sorts of impossible things seem quite likely.

What's more, legalising it isn't going to make forestry workers able to smoke it and still do their jobs: they'll still be caught in drug tests, just as if they were drunk on the job. [Abridged]

GJ PHILIP
Rotorua

Mayoral material
Your correspondent, Jim Adams, claims that he wishes to stand for mayor at the next local body election (Letters, September 5).

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Bearing in mind that Mr Adams is a relative newcomer to New Zealand, I suggest he consider taking two paths forward.

(a) Doing his homework on the Treaty of Waitangi (I find his flippant attitude to the Treaty offensive), and (b) Studying the history of Rotorua spanning the past century.

Thus enlightened, he may become mayoral material. Who knows?

JACKIE EVANS
Rotorua