Pubdate: Thu, 12 Oct 2000
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2000, Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Debra Thibeault


A marijuana distribution task force will surely turn even more people into
lawbreakers, waste court time, spend money on needless incarcerations, and
make the system pay over and over again, Maybe a task force to figure out
how to regulate and tax a substance that is widely used in our society would
be a wiser way to use our tax dollars.

The older population should remember the "medical use" of alcohol during the
years of prohibition. Marijuana is no more or no less dangerous or addictive
than the substances and pursuits already controlled, taxed and promoted by
our system now.

Think of how many government programs and employees are strictly dedicated
to keeping marijuana illegal and therefore preserving their own incomes. How
many state-funded rehab centers, counselors, and police officials focus on
marijuana as the big evil? How many prison cells would empty out if
legalization was instituted?

Legalization as a choice is what the uproar is about. Passing it off as a
medical issue only muddies the water.

People have been granted freedom of choice in this country for many years if
they pay their state and federal tax, and follow the rules and regulations
deemed fair by the courts. Letís add marijuana to this privileged group,
make the rules and make them pay.

Debra Thibeault, Blanchard
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