Prince George's County Police Chief John E. McHale Jr. said last week that trying to control the use of marijuana is "a war you can't win" an that legalizing it would reduce street crime. Reporter Kathleen Ennis and photographer John Dwyier asked Prince George's and Montgomery residents whether they believe that use of marijuana should be legalized. Aston Irving, 44, Silver Spring: "The chief of police has access to the statistics and he should know the extent of the problem more than the average man on the street. I would tend to go along with him. It's rather strange that a progressive opinion like that should come from Prince George's County." Jerry Hess, 28, Langley Park: "I think marijuana should be legalized because I smoke it and suffer no bad effects from it." Terrie Furcolow, 30, Silver Spring: "I think anything to excess is a crime. I have never tried marijuana or do I care to. I don't have to get high to enjoy life. I say keep it as a crime." Genevieve Griffiths, 72, Silver Spring: "I agree with him. If it's legalized, it causes much less crime and is not as attractive to young people. And they can control it better. They're going to use it anyway."
Roland Dennis Jr., 27, Silver Spring: "Why not? It's been happening a long time. If it was legalized, maybe young kids wouldn't get their hands on it. Also, you know that three or four drinks can make you highly intoxicated. On the other hand, you can smoke half a bag of pot and still drive." Betty Neary, 51, Hyattsville: "The reason I don't (think marijuana should be legalized) is because you can't take one evil and say it is a lesser evil and then give up on it.You can't say one is worse than the other. They are all wrong." Richard King, 52, Lanham: "I think that was an untimely remark to be made by a Prince George's County policeman. I think it's going to cause a lot of aggravation to a lot of parents in Prince George's County." Kernard Bond, 20, Hyattsville: "I feel they should because it doesn't mess you up like alcohol. They're better off legalizing it. Then there would be less people doing wrong selling it." Neil Carmichael, 15, Hyattsville: "I don't think it should be legalized. When I get older, I don't want my children smoking it. It's stupid."