Pubdate: Tue, 26 Jul 2011
Source: Lincoln Journal Star (NE)
Copyright: 2011 Lincoln Journal Star
Author: Wayne Whitmarsh


Warren Hale's community column ("Evidence piles up on failure of drug 
war," July 16) told it like it is. A failed 40-year drug war has cost 
over $1 trillion. Its result is over 900,000 persons incarcerated for 
marijuana use, abuse and sales. The abuse is when alcohol is used 
with it. The vast majority of people are in for personal use, not for dealing.

Family lives are affected. Unrelated citizen deaths have occurred 
during raids gone wrong. People lose jobs. Homes, vehicles and money 
are confiscated. Students are unable to obtain education loans. All 
for the use of marijuana.

The cannabis plant has never caused a death by overdose. Alcohol, 
however, causes more than 80,000 direct deaths, 17,000 vehicular 
deaths and 500,000 injuries annually. A June 22 article in this 
newspaper reported tobacco causes about 443,000 deaths annually.

Our youth say they have easier access to cannabis/marijuana than 
alcohol. Legalization, regulation and taxation would help keep the 
product from our youth and help our nation's budget problem.

Petition 19 -- now being circulated -- would allow cannabis/marijuana 
to be used for its medical properties and its tall brother hemp 
(currently imported) to be cultivated for personal, manufacturing and 
industrial products, as well as for biofuel.

Wayne Whitmarsh, Lincoln
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