Pubdate: Wed, 02 Dec 2009
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2009 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.


 From Maine to California, muddled thinking over the use  of marijuana,
medical and otherwise, finally is  beginning to clear, giving way to
reason over its  future use.

Fourteen states are moving to decriminalize possession  of small
amounts of marijuana. In Maine, residents have  overwhelmingly voted
to allow the sale of medical  marijuana over the counter. And in
California,  signatures are being collected to put legalization
before voters next year.

It's estimated that taxing and regulating pot, much  like cigarettes
and alcohol, could raise $1.3 billion  in California alone.

In Los Angeles, where medical marijuana dispensaries  have opened,
experts say more violence stems from its  prohibition than from its

 From federal regulators to the American Medical  Association, the
mind-set over marijuana's use  gradually is changing -- and for good
reason. Notes a  spokesman for one marijuana advocacy group,
"(T)here's  a reason you don't have Mexican beer cartels planting
fields of hops in the California forests."

As we've stated before, the production and use of  marijuana should be
fully legalized with the same  prohibitions against use by minors. The
only "refer  madness" is to continue the indefensible status quo  that
costs taxpayers billions in related enforcement  costs while funding
organized crime and violence on a  massive scale. 
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D