Pubdate: Wed, 29 Jul 2009
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Santa Cruz Sentinel
Author: Steve Newman


The AP article, July 19, documents some benefits of the de facto
legalized pot industry -- jobs, taxes and therapy. In addition, full
legalization would bring:

1. Much greater tax revenues to state and local governments in the

2. Immense savings on health care as costly prescription drugs for
pain, anxiety, are replaced by cheap, no-side-effects pot; national
health care would become much more possible with these savings.

3. Reductions in the cost of prisons, which incarcerate thousands of
nonviolent marijuana users/sellers.

4. Reduction in alcohol-related costs -- violence, road rage,
absenteeism, alcoholism-related disease

5. People being in a less stressed condition would lead to greater
personal and social health.

Most of the opposition to legalization of marijuana comes from special
interests, alcohol and pharmaceutical corporations, and the
law-enforcement industry, prison guard unions, prosecuting attorneys,
etc. In today's economy, decriminalizing marijuana is more than just
right; it is a necessity. Major changes like abolishing prohibition
began on a state-by-state basis. California can be proud to lead this
movement, which will eventually prevail.

Steve Newman, Santa Cruz
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