Pubdate: Thu, 28 Oct 2004
Source: Anchorage Press (AK)
Copyright: 2004 Anchorage Publishing, Inc.
Author: Vicki Pate
Cited: Proposition 2


Like you, I want our schools free of drugs, our streets safe from
robbery and violence, and violent criminals incarcerated for their
full sentence. That's why I'm voting "yes" on Ballot Measure 2, which
proposes to legalize and decriminalize marijuana.

We must take the drugs out of school by taking away the profit. There
aren't alcohol and tobacco pushers at school, so there's no profit in
it. Pot is a gateway drug because the same dealer also carries harder
drugs. In Holland, where pot is sold legally in coffeehouses to
adults, marijuana is NOT a gateway drug. Marijuana should be as
expensive as lettuce. Making a substance illegal drives up prices a
hundred-fold. Users steal and rob to support their habit. Folks rarely
steal to buy alcohol or cigarettes, yet these substances are much more
addictive. Illicit drug trafficking grows gangs. Their infighting
makes our streets dangerous. Mandatory drug sentencing clogs our
prisons. Violent offenders are let out early.

Billions of tax dollars are wasted yearly on drug prohibition that can
never work. Outlawing something that people want doesn't stop them
from getting it. Every dollar spent on drug enforcement enriches the
dealers, instead of educating drug users to show them a better way.

Alaska is in a unique position to show the federal government that its
policy on marijuana needs to be changed.

Vicki Pate

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