Pubdate: Thu, 4 Nov 2010
Source: Daily Cougar (U of Houston, TX Edu)
Copyright: 2010 UH Student Publications
Author: Jerry Epstein


The University of Houston was awash in marijuana when I got my MA 
(Sociology) in the '70s. It largely replaced alcohol among grad 
students - also at St. Thomas later.

Hope grew after the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse 
reports of 1972 and 1973 laid out the facts so well, but stuff 
happens - read insanity, panic and propaganda.

Zeke Barrera is right on many counts. Prop 19 in California - which 
was financed by my friend and former Houstonian, Richard Lee - is 
just the first step in a process.

The federal government cannot force state officials to enforce 
federal law and the DEA simply lacks the resources to do more than 
make a few busts for show on their own.

Prop 19 was actually designed to mimic Texas laws for alcohol and any 
major confusion will be the result of inept local leaders.

Reformers around the nation are prepared to launch similar 
initiatives and many conservative representatives are secretly very supportive.

The federal position will not be tenable - reschedule and traditional 
experimentation by the states will become inevitable.

Ultimately, with marijuana out of the picture, the country will come 
to realize that very few people (less than 1 percent of us) have a 
problem with prohibited drugs, and that legality has nothing 
significant to do with their use or access to drugs. Strict 
regulation will simply mean those few people will get their drug from 
a doctor, instead of cartels and drug dealers - with much better 
outcomes for all of us.

Jerry Epstein

Jerry Epstein is president of Drug Policy Forum of Texas and a UH alumnus. 
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