Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 2009
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2009 San Francisco Examiner
Author: F. Aaron Smith


Ken Garcia's July 21 column about efforts to reform our marijuana
policy offers no solution to the failures of marijuana prohibition. He
seems dedicated to opposing proposals to tax and regulate cannabis
merely for the sake of being contrarian.

Garcia asserts that replacing prohibition with regulation would
somehow not make marijuana easier to control, because local efforts to
regulate medical marijuana have been imperfect. But medical marijuana
has been without state regulation, as Garcia surely knows.

State regulation of alcohol and tobacco brought far greater stability
and obedience to laws than the prohibition of marijuana -- a failed
policy that has created only crime, environmental destruction and
chaos. Anyone who supports maintaining the old marijuana policies is
essentially endorsing that criminal market and all these social ills
it brings.

One only needs to look to the lessons we should have learned from
alcohol prohibition to see that marijuana prohibition is an equally
embarrassing failure. If regulation isn't the answer, then what is?

F. Aaron Smith, California policy director, Marijuana Policy Project, Santa Rosa