Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jan 2006
Source: Journal Advocate, The (CO)
Copyright: 2006 MediaNews Group, Inc.
Author: Allan Erickson


Your column by George Rice, "Free Your Mind - Really?" of Dec. 30, was
appalling. Knowing that Rice is a former police officer, I can
understand some of his disdain toward cannabis (marijuana) and its

But what Rice either fails to understand or is unwilling to include in
his opinion is that it is not just "latter-day hippies in Denver" that
seek an end to our current prohibition.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman opposes the drug war. In
fact he and 500 other economists sent a letter to the president,
Congress, governors, and state legislatures endorsing a report by
Prof. Jeffrey A. Miron, "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana
Prohibition," which shows, "that marijuana legalization - replacing
prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation - would save $7.7
billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition
enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually
if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods."

Rice also fails to mention the Colorado state decriminalization effort
is being supported by the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a
group having more than 4,500 members from the law enforcement
community - police officers, judges and prosecutors.

Sorry, George. Ain't just the hippies this time. Or even the hippies
and soccer moms. The War On (some) Drugs is a failure. A failure in
fact, practice and principle.

Allan Erickson, Drug Policy Forum of Oregon

Eugene, Ore
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