Pubdate: Sun, 11 Dec 2005
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2005 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Andrew Taylor


Norm Stamper suggests that we "police the industry much as
alcohol-beverage-control agencies keep a watch on bars and liquor
stores at the state level." Having been chief of police in Seattle,
Stamper could well have been thinking of the Washington State Liquor
Control Board, which is charged with both regulating and promoting
liquor and tobacco (and the tax revenues we get from them).

This joint mission, of both promoting and regulating potentially
dangerous substances, is in obvious conflict with our country's
general governmental philosophy of checks and balances, and is a
fundamentally flawed mechanism to regulate such enterprises.

Obviously, the provision of two governmental agencies, with perhaps
opposing missions, will be more costly and cumbersome than the present
system, but it is a model that generally works well.

I fear we'll never legalize all drugs, but if we do so, let's make
sure that we don't finish up with the fox guarding the hen house yet

Andrew Taylor, Seattle
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake