Pubdate: Tue, 30 Oct 2007
Source: Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Copyright: 2007 The Daily Herald Company
Author:  Dan Linn


Seventy years after the federal government decided to make it a crime 
to grow or possess marijuana, its use is still prevalent, and the 
industry literally growing.

The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was just four years after the passage 
of the 21st amendment repealing alcohol prohibition, which lasted 
only 13 years but was marked by violence, organized crime and an 
unregulated product that was still highly consumed.

Marijuana prohibition has lasted 70 years, and although some people 
might not agree, it should be repealed as well.

Currently the marijuana market is unregulated, untaxed and controlled 
by organized crime.

So why did it take only 13 years for the government to realize it 
made a bad choice by outlawing alcohol, but it continues to feel that 
prohibition is the right approach for marijuana?

After all there are still dry counties and towns in America where the 
residents feel that alcohol should still be banned, and if marijuana 
prohibition were repealed there would likely be counties and towns 
outlawing marijuana. A recent study by Jon Gettman Ph.D. "Lost Taxes 
and Other Costs of Marijuana Laws," estimates that marijuana in the 
U.S. is a $113 billion industry annually and that American taxpayers 
are losing a total of $41 billion toward enforcement of marijuana 
laws and lost potential tax revenue.

Currently those who use marijuana are criminals even if they do it in 
the privacy of their own homes and grow it themselves.

This is simply outrageous in a country that prides itself on freedom 
and liberty.

If marijuana were treated like alcohol, with driving and age 
restrictions along with a regulated industry to purchase this highly 
consumed product, then the American people would benefit in the long run.

Most high school children claim that it is easier to buy marijuana 
than it is alcohol; this should lead one to believe that making 
marijuana sales similar to alcohol would make it harder for children 
to acquire this substance, but for some reason supporters of 
marijuana prohibition just can seem to see through smoke.

Dan Linn

Round Lake Executive Director Illinois NORML
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