Pubdate: Wed, 25 Sep 2013
Source: Daily Courier (Prescott, AZ)
Copyright: 2013 Prescott Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Bob Gordon



This is in response to County Attorney Sheila Polk's Talk of the Town
on Saturday, Sept. 7 and the addictive perils of marijuana usage,
especially for young people.

Marijuana remains a federally proscribed schedule 1 controlled
substance (1970) and is illegal for anyone of any age to use. Medical
usage still remains under federal jurisdiction.

Although pot remains illegal, Polk's sincere and comprehensive article
illustrates that in practice this hasn't necessarily worked, but that
the alternative of legalization would be worse. Educational efforts
and awareness of the hazards of any drug use will be successful for
everyone; scare tactics and demonizing pot - a universally utilized
plant for thousands of years - is also not effective. Anything that
can be abused will be abused but this doesn't mean it must be banned.

The 43-years-failed "War on Drugs," costing taxpayers in excess of one
trillion dollars, has mostly provided the countless vested interests -
drug dealers, law enforcement agencies, some members of the legal
profession, the prison system, the alcohol industry, etc. with a
built-in, almost limitless stream of revenue. Maintaining pot's
illegal status is financially rewarding.

My simple and unoriginal suggestion is to legalize/decriminalize
marijuana for adults who would like to exercise free choice. Pot can
then be taxed and regulated just as alcohol and tobacco - both
hazardous drugs - are.

Keeping pot illegal doesn't work; young people can obtain pot
regardless of its legal status. Alcohol prohibition didn't work -
except for institutionalizing organized crime - during the 1920s and
pot prohibition only works for the benefit of those who continue to
profit directly and indirectly from maintaining this otherwise failed,
hypocritical government policy.

Bob Gordon

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