Pubdate: Sun, 24 Jul 2005
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2005 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Ronald Fraser makes a number of worthwhile points about our government's 
fruitless war on marijuana ["Time for a marijuana sales tax," July 20]. In 
fact, the U.S. Department of Justice has effectively acknowledged that this 
war has failed.

In its just-released "Drug Threat Assessment 2005," the department notes 
that despite the eradication of 3.5 million marijuana plants last year, it 
could find "no reports of a trend toward decreased availability" of 
marijuana anywhere in the country. "Indeed," the report continues, 
"reporting from some areas has suggested that marijuana is easier for 
youths to obtain than alcohol or cigarettes."

That makes perfect sense, of course: Tobacco and alcohol merchants are 
licensed and regulated, and thus have an incentive to check identification 
and not sell to kids. Prohibition guarantees that marijuana dealers are 
completely unregulated and have no such incentive.

Prohibition is a destructive failure. It is time to tax and regulate marijuana.

Bruce Mirken

Director of Communications

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C. 
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