Pubdate: Fri, 05 Mar 2004
Source: News & Advance, The (VA)
Copyright: 2004 Media General
Author: Kirk Muse,


Major kudos to Raymond Wilkerson for his outstanding
letter: "Is it time to legalize marijuana?" Feb. 24.

I'd like to add that last year we had more arrests for marijuana
violations than for murder, rape, armed robbery and assault -
combined. Almost 90 percent of the 730,000 marijuana arrests last year
were for simple possession.

It seems to me that our police have better things to do than arresting
people for potentially harming themselves. It seems to me that adult
citizens should be free to smoke, swallow, snort or inject any
substance they want as long as they are personally responsible for the
consequences. It seems to me that a free country should be - a free
country. Our government cannot protect adult citizens from themselves
and they have no legitimate right attempting to do so. Almost all of
the problems that we have with illegal drugs are because the drugs are
illegal. Because drugs are illegal, they are of unknown quality,
unknown purity and unknown potency. This is the cause of most of the
deaths from illegal drugs.

Because drugs are illegal, they are untaxed, unregulated and
controlled by criminal gangs - just like alcohol was when it was
illegal. Speaking of taxes, by keeping marijuana and other
recreational drugs as criminalized products, we are throwing away
countless billions of dollars in potential tax revenue.

It seems to me that non-drug users would welcome the idea of taxing a
product they don't use.


Mesa, Ariz. 
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