Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jun 2011
Source: Daily American (Somerset, PA)
Copyright: 2011 The Daily American


Although it shouldn't be a surprise, mixed messages came out of
Washington, D.C. this week.

On Tuesday the Food and Drug Administration released new graphic
warning labels for cigarette packages. On Thursday U.S. Rep. Ron Paul,
R-Tex., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., along with other members of
Congress, introduced legislation in the House to limit the federal
government's role in marijuana enforcement to cross-border or
inter-state smuggling.

The initial reaction is how can the government try to encourage more
people to quit smoking, but not want to enforce laws against marijuana

The congressmen said the bill is not an attempt to legalize pot, but
is instead intended to clear up the conflicts between federal and
state laws. Sixteen states currently allow the use of medical
marijuana, an allowance that falls into direct conflict with federal
law. States could tax and regular marijuana the same way that they do

Money is, of course, at the bottom line. The federal government is
looking for ways to save money and is trying to reduce the $15 billion
spent each year on the war on drugs. If federal laws on marijuana use
were removed from the books that would also free up space in federal
prisons. There is an enormous potential windfall in the taxation of
marijuana. It is estimated that in California alone, a 10 percent tax
would yield $1.4 billion.

But there are serious moral, religious and medical arguments against
legalizing marijuana. And while the congressmen state that the bill is
not an attempt to legalize pot, it could be a first step in the
process. Congress should reject the Paul-Frank bill.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.