Pubdate: Fri, 13 Jul 2001
Source: Free Lance-Star (VA)
Copyright: 2001 The Free Lance-Star
Author: Paul Miller
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Drug testing in high school? What's next? Undercover officers posing as 
students in sting operations? Oh, wait, that's already happening, at least 
in Southwest Virginia.

Perhaps there is another approach. Ending the prohibition on marijuana will 
pull the substance away from organized crime, which recruits kids to do its 
street and school work. Ending the prohibition will place marijuana in the 
hands of legal retailers. Then at least it would be as difficult for kids 
to get marijuana as it is for them to get a pack of cigarettes.

This also will help keep kids from entering the business, and separate 
marijuana-using adults from the people who sell the truly dangerous substances.

This is an important issue. Virginia's tab for its participation in the war 
on drugs is about $400 million a year (how much does the state get from 
that car tax?) and enforcement of marijuana laws accounts for about half of 
that. Yet only one candidate is willing to discuss this huge, 
counterproductive expenditure. That candidate is Gary Reams, who is running 
for lieutenant governor.

I don't use drugs myself, but I do vote. I am willing to use my vote to say 
that this prohibition on marijuana is a gross violation of common sense.

Paul Miller, Woodbridge
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