Our View: The Most Anti-Drug Council Members

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  Our View: The Most Anti-Drug Council Members

Posted by CN Staff on August 24, 2010 at 17:12:37 PT
Source: Gazette 

Colorado -- In politics, the best action is often no action at all. That’s because politicians cannot solve most problems. Our culture’s belief that politicians are “leaders,” able to solve most problems, only harms us.Politicians typically forget their own limitations when presented a dilemma, or else they lack the humility and strength of conviction to just do nothing. Monday was a notable exception, when a majority on the Colorado Springs City Council chose to do nothing at all, regarding a failed petition drive for a ballot measure designed to forbid medical marijuana stores in Colorado Springs.
A new state law, known as Colorado House Bill 1284, ostensibly allows local citizens and their governments to forbid medical marijuana retailers. The statute is almost certainly illegal, as the Colorado Constitution protects the “acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia” for medical use. Acquisition, possession, use and transportation would all be severely impeded by local regulations that shut down medical marijuana retailers. We can’t shut down churches and have freedom to worship, and we can’t shut down marijuana stores and maintain a legitimate right to acquire the drug.Why anyone desires to close the stores remains unclear. They’ve caused no surge in crime and mayhem and they generate an abundance of new revenue for City Hall. Our country’s experiment with alcohol prohibition tells us all we need to know about the unintended consequences of forbidding trade.Nevertheless, Councilman Darryl Glenn brought forward a recommendation Monday to refer a marijuana store moratorium to the November ballot. Council members Jan Martin, Randy Purvis and Vice Mayor Larry Small voiced support. The five remaining council members sat in silence. They wisely chose to just do nothing.By doing nothing, the majority took the most anti-drug stand possible. They left the trade alone. That means medical marijuana stores will continue killing off the old criminal-run black-market trade, which desperately seeks the elimination of competitors who pay taxes, operate within the confines of law and subject themselves to reasonable regulations. Unlike criminal underground dealers, store-front sellers pay wages to employees. They withhold and pay taxes on those wages to federal and state governments. They collect, report and pay taxes on all sales made in their stores. If closed, most of their business would go directly to underground thugs. Without marijuana stores, even little old ladies with glaucoma end up trading with criminals.Be assured that Glenn, Martin, Purvis and Small abhor drug abuse. They may believe that shutting down above-board, taxpaying marijuana retailers will somehow reduce drug abuse. They may simply want voters to decide. Their support for a moratorium isn’t sinister, it’s just misguided. They cannot explain how an election, which voters didn’t support during the petition drive, would help our city.Council members Sean Paige, Scott Hente, Tom Gallagher, Bernie Herpin and Mayor Lionel Rivera are all responsible adults who also want to see less drug abuse. Though they may appear more pro-drug than their peers, they chose the option that’s most hostile to illegal drug activity. That option was exercised with no action at all.— Wayne Laugesen, editorial page editor, for the editorial board.Source: Gazette, The (Colorado Springs, CO)Published: August 24, 2010Copyright: 2010 The GazetteWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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