Pubdate: Mon, 08 Oct 2007
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2007 West Hawaii Today
Author: Kelly Greenwell


The Real Changes Of Decriminalization

Two letters regarding the legalization of marijuana have recently 
appeared in this column. Unfortunately, neither really addressed the 
actual consequences of decriminalizing the propagation and use of this plant.

Marijuana can be grown in your back yard at no real cost and produce 
a product that is, again, virtually free. This alone would all but 
destroy the market for drugs, legal and illegal, many of which 
replicate each other or, in the case of alcohol, compromise the 
social esteem of wine and liquor.

Furthermore, because the user's response to marijuana is calm and 
peaceful, the resulting need for crime prevention and police action 
diminishes to the point where it becomes unwarranted and not needed.

The loss of this market demand to the producers and sellers of drugs, 
legal and illegal alike, along with the decreased need for police and 
prisons, and to some degree, hospitals, auto shops, etc., threatens 
our lifestyle, politics and our economy as we know it.

Sentencing citizens to prison for terms longer than murder or rape, 
for growing and using a substance safer and saner than champagne is 
considered by most a small price to pay in order to maintain the 
luxury of self-serving stupidity.

Thank you Jennifer Nerger and Mare Grace for two wonderful letters -- 
and the opportunity for me to expand. Perhaps we can help fuel a 
movement based on what is real for a change.

Kelly Greenwell

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