Pubdate: Fri, 09 Jun 2006
Source: Las Vegas City Life (NV)
Copyright: 2006sLas Vegas City Life
Author: Robb Witmer Full
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Richard Perkins tells us that "every law enforcement group in Nevada 
strongly opposes the ballot measure" to tax and regulate marijuana, 
as though their positions of authority are simply enough to induce 
the population. No need to bother with such trivials as facts or 
realities ["Do NOT rock the ganja!," Your Opinion, May 25].

I believe Perkins when he says that he has "rarely met a heroin, 
crack or meth addict who didn't start with marijuana." But this is 
anecdotal nonsense meant to conjure up the mystical "gateway drug" 
that leads all down the path to coke parties and premarital sex.

And no one will take issue with his claim that violent criminals 
smoke marijuana. Violent criminals also drink beer, smoke cigarettes, 
eat fast food and probably don't floss enough. But if they are 
violent criminals, why don't we prosecute them for their violent 
behavior, instead of victimless crimes?

Many people in this city, state, and country believe that 
decriminalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana would greatly 
restrict access of the drug to minors, while diverting resources in 
the criminal justice system toward fighting crimes with victims, 
increasing tax revenue and allowing adults more freedom to do what 
they please in the privacy of their own home.

And to suggest that Neil Levine and his group are somehow taking 
advantage of Nevada's open initiative laws is completely 
undemocratic. I don't know Levine or his group, and while it's 
possible that putting this question on the ballot has "nothing to do 
with any care or concern for our citizens and the well-being of our 
families," it's also possible that it's about letting those same 
citizens and families deciding for themselves what's is best for the community.

So, instead of the usual horseshit, why doesn't Perkins offer up some 
benefits to the current system in order to allow the electorate to 
make an informed decision? This is, after all, America.

Robb Witmer Full
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MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman