Pubdate: Mon, 25 Mar 2013
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2013 The Washington Post Company
Author: Tom Angell
Page: A18


The March 21 editorial "A more fitting punishment," on Maryland's 
bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, 
correctly pointed out how current laws waste police time and drain 
precious resources. But merely decriminalizing marijuana possession 
while leaving sales unregulated ensures that people who use marijuana 
must purchase it through the black market, often from gangs that use 
violence to protect their profits and turf.

It's true that federal law prohibits the sale of marijuana. But 
states such as Colorado and Washington haven't waited for Congress to 
change failed and outdated marijuana policies, and Maryland 
shouldn't, either. Without pressure from the states, the federal 
government is unlikely to take on the important task of reviewing its 
decades-old marijuana laws.

Tom Angell, Berkeley, Calif. The writer is chairman of Marijuana Majority.
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