Pubdate: Fri, 26 Mar 2010
Source: Maui News, The (HI)
Copyright: 2010 The Maui News
Author: Mark Sheehan


Congratulations to Sen. J. Kalani English for introducing bills
allowing for medical marijuana dispensaries and for standing up to the
fearmongering at the medical marijuana summit (The Maui News, March

More than 40 years of the war on drugs have drained a trillion dollars
from our treasury and led to 20 million arrests since 1985 - mostly
young people who wind up with convictions that haunt them.

Comparing pot with alcohol and tobacco fails to point out that smoking
tobacco kills a half million Americans every year while there are
about 50,000 deaths related to alcohol. Pot fatalities? Zero.

In 1963, before the war on drugs, police solved 91 percent of murder
cases; today, only 61 percent. Sixty percent of rapes go unsolved
along with 75 percent of robberies. Let's get our priorities straight.

A 2008 Harvard study found decriminalization would reduce government
expenditures. Taxing marijuana would generate $7 billion.

Countries that have legalized drugs have seen drug use go down. Ditto
for states with medical marijuana laws.

People go to great lengths to mitigate pain. But a doctor's
prescription to use medical marijuana doesn't solve the problem if you
don't have a place or the knowledge and resources to grow.

Legal dispensaries are a first step toward a saner policy regarding
the herb that is so widely enjoyed and is so effective in helping patients.

For another point of view from police, go to

Mark Sheehan

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