Pubdate: Thu, 5 Nov 2009
Source: Georgetown Record (MA)
Copyright: 2009 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Steven S. Epstein


To the editor:

Money, while important, is not all that matters (Taylor Armerding: 
"State can fill its coffers by treating pot like gambling," Oct. 24). 
What also matters is that our laws comply with the federal and state 
constitutions; both suppose the consent of the governed. The vote on 
Question 2 annihilated the notion prohibition of possession backed by 
criminal sanction had such consent. The vote on Question 2 and the 
rampant civil disobedience to the law -- over 10 percent of 
Massachusetts voters consumed it last month -- establish there is not 
consent here for the prohibition of its commerce.

According to the U.S. Justice Department's medical marijuana policy 
memorandum issued Oct. 19, the black market provides "significant 
source of revenue to large-scale criminal enterprises." So too did 
alcohol prohibition. The only constitutional policy toward marijuana 
consists of regulations and a level of taxation reasonable enough so 
that the people will generally send their money to the state rather 
than resorting to the black market in their pursuit of their 
subjective happiness.

Steven S. Epstein

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