Pubdate: Mon, 02 Oct 2006
Source: Charleston Daily Mail (WV)
Copyright: 2006 Charleston Daily Mail
Author: Bruce Mirken
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


In his Sept. 22 column, "The war on marijuana is expensive," Dave 
Peyton is right. Prohibition of marijuana -- just like Prohibition of 
alcohol in the 1920s -- is an expensive failure that serves only to 
enrich organized crime.

Look at the government's own research:

According to the U.S. Justice Department's 2006 National Drug Threat 
Assessment, "marijuana availability is high and stable or increasing slightly."

In another recent government survey, 86 percent of high school 
seniors said marijuana was "easy to get" -- a figure that has 
remained virtually unchanged since 1975.

If marijuana were regulated like alcohol, producers and sellers would 
be licensed and would have to follow a strict set of rules. Their 
profits would be taxed to fund schools and police, instead of 
financing criminal gangs.

It's time for an approach to marijuana that makes some sense.

Bruce Mirken

San Francisco, Calif.

Mirken is director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
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