Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2010
Source: Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)
Copyright: 2010 Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Bob Gordon



In the recent "point-counterpoint" debate, City Editor Steve 
Stockmar's "pro" marijuana legalization position based on facts makes 
eminent sense while Courier Editor Ben Hansen's "con" anecdotal 
fantasies argument lacks substance.

In addition to Mr. Stockmar's argument, according to past published 
FBI Uniform Crime Statistics, alcohol and tobacco account for "more 
health and social problems than all other drugs combined" and 
marijuana doesn't even count as a problem except that it's illegal.

Current pot laws benefit only drug dealers, the liquor industry and 
countless government agencies including law enforcement's failed "War 
on Drugs" that profit from the status quo. This "default" position 
continues to squander billions of tax dollars and unjustly 
criminalizes individuals with an indefensible double standard: 
Alcohol and tobacco are legal products which adults may choose to use 
or reject. The same rules and standards of free choice should also 
apply to marijuana.

Various drugs have always been relatively easy for young people to 
obtain despite laws prohibiting usage and age restrictions. The same 
situation also already exists with marijuana, legal or not, so a 
realistic and comprehensive educational effort (not hysteria) in 
homes and schools is essential.

"Reefer madness" and assorted "gateway" and slippery slope arguments 
are no more objectively valid than current preemptive and unjustly 
disproportionate and punitive anti-pot laws are deserving of respect.

Bob Gordon

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