Pubdate: Fri, 26 Sep 2014
Source: Lawrence Journal-World (KS)
Copyright: 2014 The Lawrence Journal-World
Author: Craig Voorhees


To the editor:

District Attorney Charles Branson said in an article on Sept. 7, that 
the real problem with selling marijuana in Lawrence is the armed 
invasion of the homes of people who sell marijuana. He said that in 
the last two years there have been 25 drug-related home invasions, 
and if you go back five years, three deaths occurred in these robberies.

Of course this is worrisome, but the root cause of these crimes is 
the prohibition of marijuana, not marijuana use itself. As a law 
enforcement official, violent crime is bound to be the district 
attorney's focus, but a look at the prohibition of alcohol shows that 
the social costs of prohibition far outweigh the costs of 
legalization. The armed robberies of bootleggers and speakeasys are 
things of the past precisely because the prohibition of alcohol was repealed.

Alcoholism remains with us, as would no doubt drug addiction, if the 
use of marijuana were legalized, but these ills are treatable. The 
prohibition of marijuana creates a black market, and, if that 
prohibition were removed, we would no longer see the robbery that 
comes with the money the black market generates.

Craig Voorhees, Lawrence
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