Pubdate: Wed, 12 Oct 2005
Source: News Record, The (U of Cincinnati, OH Edu)
Copyright: 2005 College Publisher and The News Record
Author: Stephen Heath


Former DEA agent Robert Stutman expresses stern concern about the 
fact that virtually all marijuana trafficking takes place behind 
closed doors by unidentified and mysterious players (Speakers Debate 
Pros, Cons Of Legalizing Marijuana, Oct 10). Some of that unmonitored 
and unregulated commerce makes its way into the coffers of organized 
criminals and on an international basis, possibly provides a modicum 
of funding for terrorists.

Thanks, Mr. Stutman, you've just illustrated the major reason to 
legalize marijuana. We need to remove commercial distribution from 
the uncontrolled illegal market and take it off the streets. 
Marijuana consumers would be happy to make their purchases from a 
licensed, regulated dealer just as over 150 million Americans 
currently do when purchasing the drugs of alcohol, tobacco and 
pharmaceuticals. Legal drug dealers do not present undue danger to 
police or to our neighborhoods. These dealers make their presence 
known to police and regulators. They do not knowingly sell to or 
recruit minors to sell their products.

They do not resolve business disputes with violence in our 
neighborhoods against customers and rival dealers. We did not 
legalize the distribution of alcohol in 1934 because everyone was 
confused about the very real risks of using alcohol. We did it to 
move sales off the streets and into a licensed, regulated setting. 
It's time for an equally sensible change in the 21st century. It's 
time to legalize marijuana for responsible adult use.


Stephen Heath

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Florida Office
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake