Pubdate: Mon, 09 Jun 2008
Source: State Journal-Register (IL)
Copyright: 2008 The State Journal-Register
Contact:  http://www.sj-r.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/425
Author: Dan Linn

LEGALIZING, REGULATING CANNABIS IS SENSIBLE

Taxing and regulating cannabis similar to alcohol would generate
needed income for the state and local governments of Illinois and cut
spending on areas such as imprisoning nonviolent drug offenders.

Why are we arresting otherwise law-abiding citizens for their
recreational use of cannabis? Isnít this a free country? Arresting
responsible marijuana users wastes tax dollars and the 70-year
cannabis prohibition needs to be repealed. Taxing responsible
marijuana users could provide needed funds for the government. Taking
a common-sense approach to drug policy should reveal that responsible
users are not the problem and should not be punished, unless it is in
the form of a reasonable tax. There will be those who break laws while
under the influence of cannabis and they should be punished. They
broke the law and being high is no better an excuse than being drunk.

Alcohol prohibition did not work. It led to an increase in organized
crime and did not deter its use, and similarly cannabis prohibition is
not working and has not deterred cannabis use. Why donít we end
marijuana prohibition and allow our citizens to use it responsibly
just like they are allowed to use alcohol responsibly and tax it while
we are at it?

Most who want to keep marijuana illegal do so to protect children and
that is a very noble cause. However, adults should be allowed to
consume cannabis responsibly. A regulated cannabis market would have
age limits on its use like there are with other substances that we try
to protect children from. Please tax and regulate cannabis.

Dan Linn Executive director Illinois NORML

(National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)

Chicago