Pubdate: Wed, 01 Sep 2004
Source: Tomahawk, The (Mountain City, TN)
Copyright: 2004 The Tomahawk
Author: Kirk Muse


Dear Editor:

I'm writing about: "US District Judge Never Forgot His Local Upbringing"
(8-25-04). I noticed that US District Judge Ronnie Greer spoke with pride
about helping his Dad in planting, cutting and hanging tobacco.

Even though tobacco is a legal product, it contributes to the death of
about 400,000 Americans every year. About half of the users of tobacco
will die prematurely as a direct result of its use.

If Judge Greer had admitted to producing or selling illegal drugs,
most in our society would consider him to be a "low-life scum bag."

Yet the reasons why one substance is illegal and another is legal are
purely political.

The annual tobacco vs marijuana kill ratio is about 400,000 to zero.
So why is tobacco legal but not marijuana?

So, should tobacco be criminalized? Absolutely not.

If tobacco was criminalized, we would soon have tobacco lords, tobacco
cartels and tobacco related crime. And tobacco would soon be
unregulated, untaxed and controlled by criminal gangs-just like
recreational drugs are today.

Best regards

Kirk Muse

Mesa, AZ
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