Pubdate: Tue, 4 Aug 2009
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2009 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Eric E. Sterling


For more than three decades, American high school seniors have
consistently reported that marijuana is easy to get, according to the
annual Monitoring the Future survey. Their use of marijuana has gone
up and down and up and down.

But their use of cigarettes has gone down more steadily and
consistently. Legal control, taxation and credible prevention delivers
public health progress.

Our current marijuana prohibition fails to control supply. It
subsidizes organized crime and international criminal cartels by
propping up their prices and by not taxing their profits.

The inevitable violence of prohibition threatens the stability of our
largest neighbor, Mexico, which may lead to a wave of illegal
immigration. To the north, our policy empowers Canadian organized
crime groups, leading to a tide of murder and mayhem from ocean to

To avoid "commercialization" of marijuana sales, permit private
growing with licenses like hunting licenses (
You can't sell venison, but you can trade steaks for a variety of services.

Eric E. Sterling

Silver Spring, Md.

The writer is president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
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