Pubdate: Fri, 31 Aug 2007
Source: Union Democrat, The (Sonora, CA)
Copyright: 2007 Western Communications, Inc
Author: Clifford A. Schaffer


To the Editor:

As you admit yourself, (editorial, Aug. 15) marijuana is not going to
go away, so let's get real.

The marijuana market is estimated to be between $10 billion and $50
billion per year. It has been estimated that, if it was sold legally
as wine and beer are sold, the potential tax revenues would be
somewhere between $6 billion and $30 billion per year. Calaveras
County is an agricultural gem so one can only imagine what the tax
revenues might be in Calaveras County.

Add to that the fact that the cat is already out of the bag --
marijuana is already de facto legal in much of California. There are
currently hundreds of marijuana stores operating openly throughout the
state of California, and new ones are opening faster than police have
the resources to bust them.

This battle was lost before it began. The single biggest effect of
marijuana prohibition is that it takes hundreds of millions of dollars
that might have gone to your local community and ships it to the
violent criminal drug gangs in Mexico. This is the same kind of thing
that happened during alcohol prohibition. Prohibition gives violent
criminal gangs a government-guaranteed monopoly on one of the most
lucrative products in the world.

So every time you see one of those Campaign Against Marijuana Planting
(CAMP) helicopters flying around, count that as minus $100 million for
Calaveras County and plus $100 million for the drug lords in Mexico.
For a better solution, see

Clifford A. Schaffer,

Director, Schaffer Online Library of Drug Policy,

Agua Dulce
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