Pubdate: Sun, 22 Mar 2009
Source: Chico Enterprise-Record (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Chico Enterprise-Record
Note: Letters from newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Dale Rasmussen


I propose that marijuana not be "legalized." Instead, I favor making 
it slightly less illegal in a specific way.

Currently, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance 
pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11054. Included in that 
designation are heroin, morphine and cocaine base. California law 
mirrors the federal law.

California should remove marijuana from its Schedule I 
classification, and designate it as a regulated -- not as a 
controlled substance. Growing and selling marijuana could then be 
downgraded to misdemeanor crimes.

What would quickly happen is that the open market would dictate the 
price of marijuana. It would probably stabilize at around $400 to 
$500 a pound, instead of the current tenfold price. At those levels, 
you can bet the Mexican cartels would abandon their plantations on 
public lands, and concentrate their efforts elsewhere. Likewise, it 
is difficult to imagine why someone would kick in a door for $500 
worth of pot, when they could steal any car on the street instead. 
Anybody dumb enough to do such a home invasion, and risk getting shot 
for cheap pot, should probably be removed from the gene pool anyway.

I realize that this scheme would hurt drug dealers, police 
drug-enforcement funds, and international banks. Sorry about that.

- -- Dale Rasmussen, Chico
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom