Pubdate: Thu, 17 Apr 2008
Source: News Herald (FL)
Copyright: 2008 The News Herald
Details: r)
Author: John Chase


In response to "Have Florida crime laws gone to pot?"  (news, April
13): Recent proposals to liberalize anti-pot laws would have us leave
pot smokers alone and go after kingpins. It's a great sound bite,
but it won't do anything to take out the astronomical profit
potential in growing, transporting and selling pot.

Clamping down on supply while ignoring demand will actually increase
profit, even if demand stays flat. If there is more money in pot, more
entrepreneurs will enter the pot business, and if pot is also illegal,
they will be potentially violent men, disrespectful of the law.

Consider the legendary violence and disrespect for the law during the
1920s, when we arrested alcohol kingpins but not alcohol drinkers. It
was lucrative, illegal, untaxed profit and it attracted men like Al
Capone and Roy Olmstead. Ultimately, it was this, and the need for the
liquor tax revenue, that ended our "oenoble experiment."  Exactly the
same reasons apply today to end marijuana prohibition.

These recent proposals are a baby step, but legalization is the only
long-term solution to put kingpins out of business permanently and
sweeten the public treasury with the revenue now going to them.

John Chase, Palm Harbor
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