Pubdate: Thu, 04 Dec 2008
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 2008 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Bruce Mirken


On Dec. 5, 1933, America ended one of the great mistakes of our
history by repealing Prohibition. The "noble experiment" to ban liquor
didn't stop people from drinking, but simply handed the alcohol market
lock, stock and barrel to gangsters. Crime and corruption soared out
of control.

Today, we are repeating the same tragic mistake with

Prohibition of marijuana hasn't stopped people from using it - indeed,
according to government statistics, marijuana use has increased some
4,000 percent since the first federal ban in 1937. And like that
earlier Prohibition, it's made gangsters rich while surrendering
control of production and distribution to criminals who despoil
California's national parks and forests.

And for what? By any objective scientific reckoning, marijuana is far
safer than booze - less addictive, massively less toxic, and orders of
magnitude less likely to make users aggressive or violent.

Like Prohibition, marijuana prohibition should be repealed and
replaced with a system of common-sense regulation.

Bruce Mirken, Marijuana Policy Project

San Francisco
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