CNN PRODUCER NOTE dlharper is a retired 65-year-old electric engineer who says he would certainly purchase marijuana if it were legalized in Texas, the state which he lives in. 'I am fascinated by the changes in attitude regarding marijuana, both from a medical standpoint as well as recreational use,' he said. The former Vietnam veteran says he used to smoke pot recreationally, but stopped in the '90s. 'I was very concerned about the affect being busted would have on my career. Let’s face it, a felony conviction just doesn’t look that good on a resume. Secondly, I was concerned that I was supporting crime and forced to obtain pot from people I would rather not associate with.' He is excited to see that states like Colorado and Washington are taking progressive steps towards legalizing the retail sale of marijuana. 'The benefits far outweigh any potential downsides,' he said.
- Jareen, CNN iReport producer
When I got out of the military (Vietnam era - 1972) and headed to college, I believed pretty much everything the government told me. It didn't take long to learn that I had been misled about a lot of things. As an "older" student pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering, I felt more comfortable with those closer to my age - most of whom had already graduated and were pursuing a Masters or PhD. For nearly a year I observed as I watched people I respected use pot without adverse affects. Finally I tried it myself. What I found was that it wasn't anything like I had been led to believe. One of my biggest problems has always been the ability to focus on something. For example, when trying to solve a design problem, no sooner do I start to think about it then I'm sidetracked with thoughts about "I need to remember to get milk the next time I'm shopping" or "my brother has a birthday coming up - need to get a card for him" or something else. After smoking pot I found that my mind relaxed to a point where I could focus on what I wanted without ancillary interruptions! I smoked pot for the remaining years in college and for several years into my career. I finally stopped for two reasons; first, I didn't like the idea that I was supporting a criminal element when I purchased pot and second, I was concerned about what being "busted" would have on my career. This was unfortunate as, looking back, I would definitely say that some of my best design work was done during the early years of my career when I was using pot. I'm now retired and it's been about 20 years since I smoked pot but, if it was ever legalized in my state (Texas - not likely) I would absolutely try it again.
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