Pubdate: Fri, 04 Oct 2002
Source: News & Observer (NC)
Copyright: 2002 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: Jon Kirby


I was pleased to read the Sept. 14 wire-service article concerning Nevada's 
efforts to legalize limited quantities of marijuana for adults' 
recreational use [A ballot question to that effect is on the Nov. 5 ballot 
in the state]. The Nevada proposal for dealing with marijuana use is 
reasonable and responsible. It would cut down on both illegal drug 
trafficking and waste of law enforcement resources, while grossing a ton of 
money for the state.

As the nation's war against tobacco rages on, we might recognize this as a 
viable option for the future for North Carolina. We can't deny that the 
demand for tobacco, a staple of our state's economy and culture, dwindles 
due to health risks and sky-high tax increases. If we were to pass a law 
legalizing marijuana, agriculture would boom, filling fallow tobacco fields 
with a new cash crop, not to mention what the use of industrial hemp could 
do for the textile industry.

Marijuana is everywhere and is just about as accessible, to adults and 
kids, as alcohol and tobacco, and is far less dangerous. We should be 
realistic about the future of North Carolina's economy and acknowledge the 
presence of a century-old plant that we can spend millions fighting, or 
make millions utilizing.

Jon Kirby

Chapel Hill
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