Pubdate: Fri, 9 May 2008
Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
Copyright: 2008 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Author: Kimberly Hanna


William T. Breault questions the cost of marijuana prohibition as 
described by professor Jeffrey Miron of Harvard University, but I 
don't see any facts to dispute Mr. Miron's extensive study ("Main 
South leader decries effort to legalize marijuana," Telegram & 
Gazette, April 11).

Does Mr. Breault think that the police, judges, probation and 
correction officers work for free? Do our courthouses, prisons, 
police cars and stations get free gasoline, heat and electricity?

Of course not. To suggest that marijuana prohibition costs little is 

Violent criminals are released early from prison to make room for 
drug offenders with mandatory minimum sentences. Marijuana 
prohibition is expensive. We'll have marijuana decriminalization here 
in Massachusetts if the voters want it and are smart enough to see 
through Mr. Breault's smoke screen.

Remember, a financial backer for the ballot initiative doesn't pull 
the levers in the voting booth; only Massachusetts voters do that.

In other states with marijuana decriminalization, the marijuana usage 
is less and their teens use marijuana less than Massachusetts teens.

We don't need our teens saddled with a marijuana conviction and a 
criminal record to put them at the disadvantage with teens from other 
parts of the nation. There's too much competition for jobs and 
college grants to saddle our teens with a marijuana conviction.

Decriminalize marijuana for drug law sanity, and put our tax money to 
better use. Criminal laws don't dissuade our citizens from using 
marijuana, as can be seen from marijuana usage surveys.

Kimberly Hanna

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