Itís Time To Legalize, Regulate and Tax Marijuana
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Itís Time To Legalize, Regulate and Tax Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on September 23, 2012 at 20:05:59 PT
Seattle Times Editorial
Source: Seattle Times
Washington -- The question for voters is not whether marijuana is good. It is whether prohibition is good. It is whether the people who use marijuana shall be subject to arrest, and whether the people who supply them shall be sent to prison. The question is whether the war on marijuana is worth what it costs. Initiative 502 says no.If marijuana killed people, or if smoking it made people commit violence and mayhem, prohibition might be worth all its bad effects. But marijuana does not kill people; there is no lethal dose. Marijuana befuddles the mind and stimulates the appetite, but it does not make people commit arson and brigandage.
Some people abuse it, just as with alcohol, but cannabis is less of a social problem than liquor, wine and beer. And society manages those as legal, commercial products.What would legal marijuana be like? Consider what has happened in Seattle. The city has become a sanctuary for medical marijuana, with aboveboard dispensaries. Recreational marijuana is readily available in Seattle on the illicit market, and users of small amounts are no longer prosecuted. For several years, recreational marijuana has effectively been decriminalized in Seattle, and there has been no upsurge in crime or road deaths from it. But even in Seattle, recreational marijuana is still supplied by criminals ó by definition. Prohibition creates criminals. In the 1920s, when alcohol was banned nationwide, alcohol money fed Chicago gangster Al Capone just as marijuana money feeds the Mexican gangs now. Says former U.S. Attorney John McKay, who battled the gangs while in office and supports 502 now, ďThe enormous demand for marijuana in the face of criminal penalties, which has been in existence for 70 years, is spinning off enormous profits for drug cartels, for gangs, for drug dealers.ĒInitiative 502 aims to take the marijuana business out of the hands of gangs. That is what legalizing alcohol did in the 1930s. Alcohol was still an intoxicant, and still dangerous. But at least spirits, wine and beer were produced in businesses that were open for inspection and had to follow the law. The producer bought insurance and could be sued. Its product was uniform and had the companyís name on it. The executives were members of the community, and they did not shoot each other. Alcohol was sold in establishments that carded buyers who looked to be under 21, on pain of losing a valuable state license.Parents may ask whether I-502 will make marijuana more available to their teenage children. The answer is to compare marijuana with beer. For teenagers, both are illegal ó and available. But which is more easily available, the one that is banned or the one that is regulated? For more than 40 years, the one more easily available to teenagers has been the one that is banned.Marijuana prohibition does not work. The better policy is to legalize it, license it, regulate it and tax it.The Times editorial board supports Initiative 502 as a big step in that direction. We present some of our other reasons on this page.Source: Seattle Times (WA)Published: September 23, 2012Copyright: 2012 The Seattle Times CompanyContact: opinion seatimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by ekim on September 24, 2012 at 13:07:43 PT
real question will elected fed lawmakers goalong
when the people vote to allow the regulation of cannabiswill those elected go to DC and vote with the people.
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on September 24, 2012 at 09:54:52 PT
We know the drug war was invented.
Cut from whole cloth. A complete inversion of the truth. Titled the most dramatic and UN-American of misnomers; The Drug War.AKA a war on certain people.On 12/12/12 We shall start a new era: PAX PHARMA. Drug Peace.I am dumping all reasoning set up by mislead or deliberate manipulation of my rights. The farther I am from the CSA the more clearly I can see through it. This Frankenbill is nothing, empty. It has held firm in place solely out of brute force, bulling and lies.12/12/12 PAX-PHARMA, because the war on drugs is dead!
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on September 24, 2012 at 05:19:54 PT
Drug dealers protecting their turf"...What makes his announcement so stunning, and what evokes the drug-dealer comparison, is the governor's career as a purveyor of the drug commonly known as alcohol. That's right, as the founder of the state's first brewpub, Hickenlooper was instrumental in flooding the state with his beery drug of choice. ..."Cont.
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Comment #1 posted by Paul Pot on September 24, 2012 at 04:21:05 PT:
the world is watching
Thank you so much for a wonderfully common sense article. Thank goodness the media is finally starting to come on side. 
This law has spread criminality, terrorism and war around the whole world and we have lived in it for so long everyone takes it for granted that the world is supposed to be this way. 
A yes vote will do much more than just give the people of Washington the right to smoke, it will break the deadlock. 
The voting citizen is the highest authority in the land, federal law and officials, bow to the voter not the other way. 
Should any one state legalize cannabis on Nov 6, federal and international law will automatically become null and void. 
Nations around the world drowning in debt or blood will try anything in their desperation and when they they see America legalize they will follow and Prohibition will crumble. 
It's all over. 
The people of Washington have the chance this year to be real life super heroes and save thousands of lives, end wars, and put the economy back on track and they can do it all with the most peaceful means possible, the ballot box. 
A strong vote in all the states with marijuana initiatives this year will make it absolutely clear to the federal government and the whole world, just exactly what the people want. 
So don't miss out on your chance to take part in history and vote for ballot initiatives in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Montana and any reform friendly politician you can. 
Gary Johnson for President! 
War is Over! 
The world is watching you. 
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