Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 2009
Source: Guardian (Wright State U, OH Edu)
Copyright: 2009 Guardian
Author: Matthew Parish


This letter is in regard to the article [editorial] "Finance the 
bailout: Legalize weed" published on April 7, 2009 where the author 
proposes the legalization of marijuana as a possible solution to 
funding our fumbled economy.

While I feel this article touched on some good points I feel it could 
have elaborated on a few others that would have produced stronger 
support, and less opposition. For example the author proposes it as a 
healthier alternative, but does not produce any facts to back it up. 
A simple Google search would produce statistics from the Journal of 
the American Medical Association that show alcohol deaths a year at 
85,000 and tobacco deaths at a whopping 450,000. Marijuana however, 
produces zero recorded deaths a year, and will continue to. This 
would have been a tremendous asset to the argument, seeing as tobacco 
and alcohol are legal, while marijuana remains illegal.

I agree with the author on how marijuana legalization could cut 
costs, and produce more tax revenue for our country and the downward 
sloping economy. The author however could have incorporated how 
exactly this would help to decrease costs by stating that a large 
number of people in jail for issues concerning marijuana are there 
for simple possession. This would further back up the authors 
argument that money is being wasted for containing people who are not 
even in the business of selling the drug. They are just people trying 
to express their inalienable rights as members of a free country.

The author also could have given examples of how prohibition fails 
more times than not. For example alcohol prohibition which failed 
miserably had the same implications. People continued their use and 
the government was spending valuable money trying to prohibit it, 
instead of returning it to its previously profitable state. The 
government seemed to learn their lesson on this issue, why not for 
marijuana as well? I mean alcohol serves really no use other than the 
enjoyment of consumption by individuals. The author could have taken 
this angle and then came back with the multiple purposes that 
marijuana has other than enjoyment of consumption.

I feel the author would have had a better chance at using finances as 
a support for the legalization of marijuana, not the reasoning behind 
legalization. There are too many other reasons to legalize the drug 
than just finances. A few examples the author could have used would 
be marijuana's medicinal purposes, or even its textile use in the form of hemp.

Matthew Parish
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