Pubdate: Fri, 18 Nov 2011
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2011 Harry Petersen
Author: Harry Petersen


The state of Washington will be out of the liquor business by June 1, 
2012, and now has a fortuitous opportunity. Consider this:

Law enforcement is devoting enormous amounts of effort, manpower and 
funds in a largely ineffective effort to stop marijuana use. 
So-called medical marijuana usage has soared, public opinion is 
shifting toward legalizing marijuana, crime syndicates reap large 
profits from marijuana sales and now former U.S. Attorney John McKay 
has spoken strongly in favor of legalization. ["He fought pot, now 
leads effort to make it legal here," page one, Nov. 17.]

The day after the liquor stores close they could reopen as marijuana 
stores. Nine-hundred jobs would be saved and the state would have a 
new generous source of income, police efforts could be redirected to 
better serve the public, marijuana use would be controlled and crime 
profits would drop.

Of course, this would require quick, innovative and decisive action 
by a state Legislature not known for quick, innovative and decisive action.

- - Harry Petersen, Bellevue
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