Pubdate: Tue, 06 May 2003
Source: Juneau Empire (AK)
Copyright: 2003 Southeastern Newspaper Corp
Author: Michael Christenson


It is becoming increasingly difficult to become filthy rich in America.
Slavery was abolished in 1865, although with the proposed elimination of the
state minimum wage for anyone under 20, maybe that won't matter as much in
the future - we'll just need to switch back to children's sweatshops. Of
course, one could always "employ" our vast prison population, a $9
billion/year industry.

No unemployment insurance to pay, no health benefits, no sick pay and no
holidays - what's there not to like? War profiteering, a once a lucrative
enterprise open to even poor poets like Arthur Rimbaud, is turning into a
high stakes game. If you don't have a couple of million to open an account
with the Carlyle Group, along with the Bushes and bin Ladens, you're pretty
much priced right out of the market. One could always become a captain of
industry, although I must warn you the names Capt. Hook and Capt. Harlock
have already been taken.

If you act quickly, Capt. Haliburton may still be available.

There's always the lottery, but frankly, you're statistically more likely to
be killed in an avalanche. That's why it's vitally important for prohibition
not to end. The artificially inflated prices that result from keeping
marijuana illicit generate $19 billion/year in the United States - tax-free!
(It is my understanding that, as far as cash crops are concerned, marijuana
is pretty much a "weed" - it doesn't require expensive fertilizers or
pesticides, or even particularly good soil. In-depth horticultural knowledge
is probably over-kill.) Legalizing marijuana will only lead to the
eradication of the highly popular ($18 billion/year) "War on Drugs" program,
and the elimination of one of the few remaining avenues for economic
improvement open to the underprivileged. Not arresting millions of Americans
a year for marijuana offenses will have great, unforeseen negative impacts:
It will reduce the work available for police officers and the DEA, and the
profits of lawyers, advertisers and the owners of private prisons.

It must be resisted at all costs.

Michael Christenson
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