Pubdate: Sat, 08 Apr 2000
Date: 04/08/2000
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Author: Khalil J. Spencer

The first casualty of the war on drugs has been the Bill of Rights.
The second has been the law enforcement community, now itself
exhibiting a harmful dependence on federal grants and asset forfeiture

There is no evidence that the war is being won. While some complain
that pot-heads are not productive members of society, that itself is
not a crime.

We don't arrest people for being lazy. We don't even arrest ice-cream
vendors who sell fat-laced products to people who have heart
conditions. We should therefore be consistent and put all that war on
drugs money into education and rehabilitation instead of into
helicopters and paramilitary incursions into our civil life. ...
Legalize marijuana so we can put the illicit, potentially armed and
dangerous growers out of business and so we can regulate and tax
cannabis in proportion to its social costs, as we currently do tobacco
products and alcohol.

By legalizing and taxing, we can not only keep better statistics on
use and abuse, but pay for the abuse costs through earmarked sin taxes.

Drugs which promote violent behavior should remain

Khalil J. Spencer, associate specialist, University of Hawaii
department of geology and geophysics

Note: The Advertiser received nearly 200 responses from readers to its
series on marijuana eradication efforts.

The series is posted at:

Part One:
Part Two:
Part Three:
Part Four: