Pubdate: Wed, 09 Jan 2013
Source: Salem News (MA)
Copyright: 2013 Eagle Tribune Publishing Company
Author: Steven S. Epstein


To the editor: Instead of editorializing that "Citizens owed fast 
action on marijuana law" (Salem News, Jan. 4) to fix supposed 
loopholes, I would urge the Legislature to prioritize replacement of 
the state's prohibition that never should have been with a law that 
treats the plant and its products like any other agricultural 
commodity, punishing only the selling or gifting of marijuana to children.

When I say any other agricultural commodity, think herbs like thyme 
sold by weight, on scales certified accurate by the Sealer of Weights 
and Measures, and subject to the warranty of merchantability. Of 
course, the profits of those engaged in the commerce of cannabis 
would be subject to income taxation, and the activities of that 
commerce take place in a manner in accordance with other generally 
applicable law.

It is fiscally irresponsible, unwise and unreasonable for 
Massachusetts and her municipalities to expend resources on 
attempting to enforce a prohibition that merely provides a price 
support to those willing to risk supplying the demand.

It is also wrong to suppress the cultivation of a plant that was, 
until crony capitalists hijacked our legislatures to eliminate the 
competition, valued for its nutritious seeds, strong fiber, medicinal 
and entheogenic ("generating the divine within") qualities from 
before the dawn of agriculture. A plant that scientists discovered in 
the first third of the 20th century could be a green resource in the 
place of fossil carbons and trees. Undoubtedly, prohibitionists will 
rant about the supposed dangers of complying with the Constitution, 
but their "reefer madness" is a delusion.

They may be well-intentioned, but they reject the self-evident truth 
at the heart of our constitutions that we are all created equal and 
endowed with the right to live our lives as we choose, so long as our 
choices are not the cause of injury to others.

Steven S. Epstein

- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom