Pubdate: Fri, 27 Feb 2009
Source: Asbury Park Press (NJ)
Copyright: 2009 Asbury Park Press
Author: Jill Sherman


In a faltering economy, wasteful spending does not go unnoticed. So 
when I heard of a recent Drug Enforcement Agency bust for marijuana, 
I was upset to see that the U.S. government is still devoting its 
resources to this cause.

Marijuana is no more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol. It even has 
some important medical uses. Medical marijuana has been legalized in 
several U.S. states. However, it remains illegal under federal law. 
The DEA can and does shut down operations and prosecute individuals 
who are permitted to grow and distribute marijuana according to their 
state's guidelines.

Legalizing marijuana would free up money spent in the unnecessary 
investigation and prosecution of these individuals. It would allow 
the DEA to focus on more dangerous elements of the drug trade.

Like cigarettes, the government would certainly impose high taxes on 
the sale of marijuana. With a $800 billion stimulus package in the 
works and a $10 trillion deficit to repay, taxes on marijuana could 
help supply the U.S. government with the funds they are in desperate 
need of  not to mention the new businesses that would form as a 
result of legal marijuana. With the economy in the dumps, new 
businesses would certainly be a great asset.

It is time for citizens and lawmakers to overcome the notion that 
marijuana is immoral and unhealthy. It just might be the solution to 
some of our bigger problems.

Jill Sherman

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