Pubdate: Tue, 4 Dec 2007
Source: Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
Copyright: 2007 Battle Creek Enquirer
Author: Greg Francisco


Congratulations are in order to Emmett Township police and the
N.I.C.E. team after a Thanksgiving weekend interdiction of 959 pounds
of marijuana secreted in a truck traveling along I-94. Seizures like
this succeed where generations of alchemists failed. They convert a
common, easily available substance into pure gold. The more pot
confiscated, the higher the price goes, drawing ever more criminals
into the mix. A perfect circle without end. If it wasn't for
prohibition, a truckload of pot wouldn't be worth much more than a
truckload of tomatoes.

Nine hundred and fifty nine pounds of marijuana sounds like a lot.
Until you stack it next to the 202,260 pounds of marijuana, worth a
whopping $350 million, harvested in Michigan in 2006, according to
official U.S. government estimates. Add to that the 150,000 pounds or
so imported into the state every year, worth an additional $250
million, and you're starting to talk about some real money. With that
much at stake, busts like this one become just the cost of doing
business. The lost pot will soon be replaced. It always is.

It's time to end marijuana prohibition. For the good of our children.
Marijuana prohibition means pot is easier for kids to buy than alcohol
or tobacco, which are sold by clerks who check ID. Marijuana
prohibition and the bling that it generates draws young men and women
into the drug trade. Marijuana prohibition lets $600 million of
commerce go untaxed and unregulated. Worse, marijuana prohibition is
costly. Arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana users costs
the Michigan treasury $158 million annually - money that could be
spent on schools, health care or technology. What it doesn't do is
keep marijuana away from children.

Greg Francisco

Paw Paw
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