Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 2009
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)
Copyright: 2009 Boulder Weekly
Author: Brian Quade


(Re: "Decriminalizing marijuana won't help society," cover story, 
April 16.) In "Legalize it?" John J. Coleman made some misleading 
arguments against legalization of marijuana. He implied that the 
Supreme Court struck down the Marihuana Tax Act because it generated 
little tax revenue. Actually, the Supreme Court was forced to declare 
the tax act unconstitutional because it violated the Fifth Amendment 
right against self-incrimination (Leary v. United States, 395 US 6, 
1969). Yes, that was Dr. Timothy Leary.

Coleman went on to say that chemists will soon be able to "synthesize 
the truly beneficial molecules and concentrate them in higher dosage 
strengths." First of all, why would anyone want to synthesize 
something that already exists in nature? And second, why would anyone 
choose to consume a synthetic lab chemical when they could get more 
benefit from a naturally occurring plant?

I do agree with Dr. Coleman, however, on the fact that marijuana 
would not generate much tax revenue. A marijuana grower who has been 
risking felony drug charges for many years is not going to 
voluntarily start paying taxes just because the government lowers the 
risk to tax evasion.

Brian Quade/Boulder
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