Pubdate: Sun, 2 Aug 2009
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2009 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Clifford Schaffer


Regarding the editorial "Stop 'reefer madness': Legalize marijuana"
(July 29 and Prohibition is such a spectacular failure
that marijuana is America's largest cash crop. Nationwide sales have
been estimated at $100 billion per year -- about the same as beer.
There are only three options for who will control the marijuana trade
and get all that money.

1. Government, with proper regulations and taxes to address social

2. Private business, with proper regulations and taxes to address
social problems.

3. Organized crime, with no regulations or taxes to address social

We have chosen organized crime to make all the rules for the marijuana
business and to get tens of billions per year in profits. Organized
crime dictates how it is made, distributed and sold. Organized crime
determines potency, purity and labeling, and also sets age limits for

This is the same choice we had in 1933 with alcohol prohibition. Who
should control the business, make the rules and get tens of billions
per year? We can either have criminals like Al Capone -- or
responsible taxpaying citizens with roots in the community. Take your

Clifford Schaffer

Agua Dulce, Calif.

The writer is director of the DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy
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