Pubdate: Sun, 26 Nov 2006
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2006 Record Searchlight
Author: Dan Bernath


Dylan Darling's article, "A dangerous crop," fails to address the role
prohibition plays in creating the conditions that put law enforcement
officers such as Troy McCoy at risk and allow violent gangs to thrive.
We waste billions of taxpayer dollars each year trying to control the
supply of marijuana and arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans
- -- 88 percent of whom are arrested for possession, not sale or
manufacture. Meanwhile, marijuana use increases -- nearly 100 million
Americans have used the drug -- and violent criminals enjoy an
exclusive franchise on the market.

Prohibition has failed. But there is a solution: A system in which
marijuana is strictly regulated in a manner similar to alcohol would
allow police officers to focus on violent crimes, property crimes, and
people who drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or any
other substance.

The environmental damage caused by illegal marijuana farms is also a
result of prohibition. There is no reason marijuana can't be produced
in safe, regulated conditions like wine grapes or hops for beer,
except that our laws don't allow it.

Our current marijuana laws aren't working. Darling's article documents
the tragic results, but it fails to name the true culprit --
prohibition. Regulating marijuana will make our communities safer and
save taxpayer dollars. It's time for a system that works.

Dan Bernath

Marijuana Policy Project

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