Pubdate: Fri, 16 Jan 2015
Source: Providence Journal, The (RI)
Copyright: 2015 The Providence Journal Company
Author: Ed Fatzinger


Regarding the Jan. 12 Commentary piece by Susan Shapiro ("My pot 
addiction nearly ruined my life"):

While we have suffered many of these platitudes against legalization 
before I do take exception to her admonition to more forward slowly. 
We should be moving along at an exhilarated clip as there is a very 
real window of opportunity here for Rhode Island.

Colorado's experiment has proven to be a boon to its economy just as 
gambling's approval in 1974 did for New Jersey. The first state in 
the East that approves legalization will be the one to reap the 
rewards. Once legalization is approved that window will slowly start 
to close and revenues will fall as other nearby states start their 
own legalization processes. Witness the effect Indian reservation 
gambling has had on the casinos of New Jersey.

A few economists have predicted that once the federal government 
removes its restrictions (and it will), the price of pot will fall 
dramatically and become "cheap as dirt." Once the novelty of it all 
has worn off, marijuana users will actually drop to a much smaller 
level of the population. Profits from pot sales will recede just as 
gambling revenues have receded from New Jersey.

Due diligence in the crafting of any legislation legalizing the use 
of marijuana will certainly be required, but the sooner it is done, the better.

Ed Fatzinger

West Greenwich
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom