Pubdate: Wed, 22 Dec 2004
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Mountain Xpress
Author: Greg Francisco


Letter writer Michael J. Harney Jr. ["Give N.C. Something to Crow
About," Dec. 9] is one more voice in a multitude nationwide calling
for sensible drug-law policy reform. If our elected officials won't
listen, a free and independent people have no choice but to take it to
the electorate at large through ballot initiatives. I hope Mr. Harney
follows through.

No credible drug-law-reform activist claims that using cannabis, more
commonly called marijuana, is totally without risk. But for the vast
majority that do so responsibly, the risks of actual use pale in
comparison to being dragged through the criminal justice system and
locked in a metal cage. At substantial cost to the taxpayer, I might

Treating cannabis like tobacco and alcohol just plain makes good
sense. Those substances are regulated, sold by licensed vendors who
check ID, and they are taxed. What is now a drain on public resources
could generate revenue. And since only a small percentage of adults
regularly use cannabis, I would think the majority of citizens would
be in favor of a tax they would never pay.

Legalize, regulate and tax. There is a better way.

Greg Francisco

Paw Paw, Mich.
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