Pubdate: Thu, 12 May 2011
Source: Portland Press Herald (ME)
Copyright: 2011 MaineToday Media, Inc.
Author: Cris Edward Johnson
Note: Cris Edward Johnson is a resident of Scarborough.
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


The state should act on its own to end this wasteful burden on police 
and the courts.

I'm surprised at the editorial position of The Portland Press Herald 
on marijuana legislation ("Debate on marijuana belongs in federal 
arena," April 21). The fact of a present disconnect between state and 
federal laws involving marijuana isn't a basis for dismissing the 
importance of L.D. 1453. To the contrary, the fact that states across 
America have enacted various statutes authorizing the regulated use 
of marijuana is strong evidence that the national perspective is changing.

Passing L.D. 1453 would not subject Mainers to greater risk under 
federal enforcement efforts. But it would eliminate a wasteful burden 
that state authorities (including police, courts, corrections) 
presently bear at the expense of Maine taxpayers.

Federal authorities are in a serious quandary concerning the 
enforcement guidelines they presently employ and those they will need 
to employ in the future. This is an event horizon. The 13 states 
(including Maine) that have already begun to revise their state 
legislation concerning marijuana will be joined by many others. The 
more involvement by state legislatures in pronouncing the futility, 
wastefulness and personal harm that marijuana prohibition promotes, 
the better the chances are that meaningful federal change will occur. 
That alone, in my view, is a very good reason to support the present bill.

The final foible in the Press Herald's analysis is the observation 
that if this bill is passed, Maine authorities will be abetting 
criminal activity, while in the same paragraph acknowledging that we 
already do so by regulating medical marijuana. To then follow with 
the Neanderthalic query "What costs would result from even more drug 
abuse ." reveals an underlying and profound misunderstanding of both 
the political environment we are in and the facts concerning 
marijuana use itself.

I am usually understanding, if not enthusiastic, about most Press 
Herald editorials, but this isn't one of them.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom