Pubdate: Sat, 31 Jan 2009
Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)
Copyright: 2009 The Gazette
Author: Robert Melamede


Perhaps I have been wrong in promoting the decriminalization of
marijuana and fostering its medical use just because thousands of
people would benefit.

Here we are in hard economic times with a constantly looming health
care crisis. Would it be wise to increase the availability of a safe
low-cost medicine with a huge number of uses that can be grown in
your  backyard? It could promote a downward spiral in the 
pharmaceutical industry. Billions of dollars would be lost as people
switched from often dangerous pharmaceuticals to this ancient herbal
remedy, and unemployment in this sector would increase.

Similarly, imagine the impact of not arresting more than 800,000
Americans for marijuana-related crimes,  most of which are for
possession. Think of the negative impact it would have on our court
systems, police work, and prison system. Even lawyers would lose
income. Perhaps we should just continue with our failed 
prohibitionist policies so that our tax monies can continue to
support prohibition-associated industry welfare for the sake of our

Robert Melamede,  Biology professor

Colorado Springs
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