Pubdate: Wed, 10 Dec 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Times
Author: Mitch Earleywine


Morrison's witty musings miss the key issue behind changing marijuana
laws. It certainly would be splendid if a legal marijuana market
helped California pay some bills. Nevertheless, the real reasons to
repeal marijuana prohibition are moral, not financial.

In the United States, we take pride in our laws because they are just.
Crimes that cause the most harm to others get the most severe
punishments. Murder deserves a bigger penalty than double parking
because it creates more harm. But what harm is caused by owning a plant?

How can we penalize someone for covering a seed with earth and
watching it grow? We all want our children to grow up in a world in
which the punishment fits the crime. Removing penalties for marijuana
possession would bring us closer to this goal. If creating a taxed and
regulated marijuana market raises some money, that's icing on the cake.

Mitch Earleywine

Albany, N.Y.
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