Pubdate: Wed, 29 Sep 2010
Source: Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ)
Copyright: 2010 The Arizona Republic
Author: J. Brian Amster


Regarding the editorial on Sunday, "Just say 'No' to medical

Why not say "Yes" to medical pot (Proposition 203)?

It's time to get serious about the fiscal benefits of legalizing
medical marijuana.

Marijuana is the largest cash crop in the U.S. Estimates vary from $25
billion to $100 billion, mostly illegal growing from non-U.S. sources.
Domestic growers will contribute taxes to Uncle Sam.

Marijuana prohibition costs the U.S. $7 billion to $10 billion per
year to "control." Incarceration costs are nearly $1 billion per year.
Can we save taxpayer money here?

Nearly 40,000 Americans are incarcerated in state and federal
correctional facilities for marijuana violations. Prisoners comprise
about 14 percent of all state and federal drug inmates. How much can
we save by decriminalizing pot?

Is marijuana a "gateway" drug? Possibly, but so are cigarettes, beer
and wine. Purchasing marijuana is not a problem at most schools. Kids
can already get it easily without IDs or any controls. Are we better
off controlling the distribution of this product, or allowing
unsupervised control to continue?

You have to start somewhere. We can do this. Just vote "yes" on

J. Brian Amster, Scottsdale
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