Pubdate: Tue, 01 Nov 2005
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Copyright: 2005 Rockford Register Star
Author: Kirk Muse


I'm writing about Wally Haas' column: "Marijuana is harmful, hurts teens' 
ability to learn, writer says" (Oct. 14). It seems like many writers are 
asking whether marijuana should be legalized.

It seems to me that this is the wrong question. The question should be: 
Should marijuana remain completely unregulated, untaxed and controlled by 

Because marijuana is now illegal, it is sold only by criminals (criminals 
who often sell other, much more dangerous drugs like cocaine and 
methamphetamine). And they often offer free samples of the more dangerous 
drugs to their marijuana customers. Thus the so-called "gateway effect."

In a regulated market, this would not happen. Do the readers know of anyone 
who has been offered a free bottle of whiskey, rum or vodka when legally 
buying beer or wine? I don't either.

If we regulate, control, and tax the sale and production of marijuana, we 
close the gateway to hard drugs.

- -- Kirk Muse, Mesa, Ariz.
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