Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jul 2009
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2009 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Tom Baker


With so many truly important issues facing our country today -- two 
wars, a global economic crisis, nuclear weapons in Korea, bank 
closings, corporate scandals, health-care costs, budget deficits, 
etc. -- it astounds me that our government and the media continue to 
rehash minor issues.

This time it is marijuana legalization. Hopefully the rhetoric is a 
prelude to correcting a mistake made many years ago. Nothing new has 
been added to this discussion in decades, other than "now we need the 
tax money."

Opponents to legalization say more study is needed to determine the 
health risks. I say look around you. The second-largest drug study 
ever was conducted in the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and '00s, second 
only to that done on cigarettes.

We all know the answer. Just look at the Netherlands, Switzerland, 
Oakland and Northern California for examples. The only troubling 
connection I have found is between marijuana policy and politicians 
looking for a campaign issue.

I challenge all our government officials to become leaders. Stand up 
- -- there can't be any of you left that haven't inhaled, and you are 
all successful. Be brave -- even President Obama admits the truth.

Regain your credibility, and correct the mistake. Legalize marijuana, 
tax it and let's move on.

Tom Baker, Woodinville
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake