Pubdate: Fri, 02 Oct 2015
Source: State Journal, The (KY)
Contact:  2015 The State Journal
Author: Thomas Vance


Seventy seven years after marijuana prohibition began with the claim 
it would turn people into violent murderers, remember "'Reefer 
Madness"  and little Timmy killing Grandma with a skillet, pretty 
much all the claims about the harms of marijuana use have been proven 
to be false. Not one of the predicted outcomes cited by 
prohibitionists have happened.

Ohio is currently in a battle for legalization and the Cincinnati 
Enquirer has been following and reporting on it. In a column titled, 
"Who are the opponents of issue 3, which will legalize marijuana and 
is on the ballot this fall, the paper reports what the reasons for 
opposing legalization are. It seems to come down to 3 items.

The manner in which the ballot initiative regulates the marijuana 
business because initially there will be 10 farms which will be in 
competition with each other and the ballot uses the Ohio constitution 
to establish legalization.That didn't seem to be a problem with the 
casino legislation but the opponents seem to think it is a problem 
with the marijuana industry.

It will make marijuana legally available state wide. Isn't that the 
reason for legalization?

Legal marijuana is a threat to public safety. Although marijuana has 
been identified at crash sites more often, the number of accidents in 
Colorado are down, particularly fatal crashes.The study showing the 
increase in the presence of marijuana did not determine whether 
marijuana caused the accident. A recent study found marijuana users 
get into traffic accidents at the same rate as non-users.

Colorado, while initially having some child packaging problems, has 
experienced none of the predicted harms of using marijuana we have 
been told all these years would happen. The reality today is, as 
reported by the Drug Policy Alliance, traffic accidents especially 
fatal accidents are down. Violent crime is down and teen use is 
relatively the same as during prohibition. The Marijuana Policy 
Project reports record setting job growth, 21,000 in the industry as 
of June 2015, and Colorado has collected 74 million dollars in 
revenue as compared to 42 million dollars in alcohol revenue. To top 
it all off the Journal of the American medical Association reports a 
24% drop in opioid overdose deaths in States with medical cannabis 
laws. Time to admit we have been, to put it mildly, misled by the 
Government and the prohibitionists about marijuana and it's effects 
since 1937 and they have been wrong every time. The Government and 
those who would continue the prohibition of marijuana have absolutely 
no credibility on this issue and their pronouncements on marijuana 
and marijuana prohibition itself should be ignored and relegated to 
the dustbin of history.

Msgt Thomas Vance USAF Ret.
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