Pubdate: Mon, 03 May 2010
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2010 The Olympian
Author: Craig Burton


The prohibition of alcohol (1920 to 1933) proved a bad idea which did
not stop people from making or drinking alcohol. After 13 years our
forebears did the right thing and ended the noble experiment.

Perhaps the 18th Amendment was repealed because legislators reacted
sanely to prohibition's unintended consequences: organized crime, an
underground market with no tax revenue, death or blindness for many.
Perhaps there was a far simpler reason: significant declines in
federal income tax revenue during the Great Depression.

We find ourselves at a similar point today with marijuana, prohibited
in 1937 (not for medical or scientific reasons) under fairly dubious
legislative circumstances. Its prohibition too has unintended
consequences: organized crime, availability to minors, an underground
market with no tax revenue, death from cartel violence, and risks to
personal safety that far exceed the risks due to the use of the drug

We spend over $40 billion each year on the war on drugs. With state
and federal budget deficits looming, can we really afford to continue
this un-winnable war on something that was completely legal here prior
to 1936?

Today, we can look back at alcohol prohibition rather smugly and
wonder how it could have ever happened. Yet here we are again. I know
we can again make the right choice - the regulation, control and
taxation of marijuana. Please join me in working to get Initiative
1068 on the ballot this November.

Visit for more details. Just say

Craig Burton, Olympia
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