Pubdate: Sat, 16 Jan 2010
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Copyright: 2010 The Seattle Times Company
Author: Jim A. Doherty

Marijuana Policy Reform


The legislature currently is considering a bill to regulate marijuana
["Time to let pot trade bud legally," NWWednesday, Jan. 13], allowing
it to be sold in state liquor stores, and there is now a state
initiative petition seeking to put before the voters a law that would
allow possession, growing and sale of marijuana. Who would have
thought this possible three or four years ago?

Sanity should prevail as we consider how to transform the state's drug
policies. We don't want marijuana sold on the streets, with no
controls on the age of the buyer.

We need a reasonable distribution system that includes a tax covering
the cost of the regulation and providing funds for drug-abuse
treatment. We want responsible people handling the distribution, so
that drugs are not adulterated or sold to minors --- and so that all
proper taxes are paid. Organized gangs would lose the tax-free stream
of revenue that has fueled their growth for decades. Police could
focus on more serious matters.

The time for change has come, but let's do it responsibly.

Jim A. Doherty, former prosecutor and corrections officer, Shoreline 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake