Pubdate: Mon, 24 Aug 2009
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2009 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Douglas Mays

Marijuana: Is It Time To Legalize It?


In response to the guest column "State should decriminalize marijuana"
[Opinion, Aug. 21], don't mess around, legalization is the only answer
for Washington state.

For some reason, we grow the strongest, highest-quality herb in the
world. Ask the Drug Enforcement Agency or experienced consumers if you
don't believe me. California talks about a $50 per ounce tax on
legalization. That is the error. A $200 per ounce tax is more like

That would still keep prices at current street level, plus create
profit for growers and retailers. That would result in a $300 to $400
per ounce sticker price on the world's highest-quality herb. To
lowball a guess, that would be an easy $50 million each month to our
state's tax base, and add to that the jobs that would be created. Our
tourism would boom to a world-class level.

Experienced herb smokers are stunned at the political attack on herb.
The reason is the stupidity of it all. Herb is being treated the same
as heroin or crack or meth. That is like saying aspirin is the same
thing as morphine. Just because it is an illegal drug does not mean
the effect is the same. In comparison, having three martinis is so
debilitating that one wonders why that is not in the same category as
a crack high.

Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Spinning around and getting dizzy as
a kid is a gateway drug. It's illegality is a gateway. Being illegal
makes users enter the illegal market, where you can find stolen cars,
illegal weapons and more. If legal, no need to go there.

Douglas Mays, Seattle
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake