Pubdate: Mon, 08 Aug 2011
Source: Citizen, The (Auburn, NY)
Copyright: 2011 Auburn Publishers Inc.
Author: Joyce Hackett Smith-Moore


After three decades and after spending billions upon billions of our
tax dollars -- yours and mine -- we're waking up to the fact that the
"War on Drugs" has been a tragic failure! Of the roughly 850,000 drug
arrests that law enforcement agencies make each year, it is estimated
that 45 percent of those arrests were for the possession of small
amounts of marijuana.

Even Pat Robertson, Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network,
said that, "criminalizing the possession of a few ounces of pot is
costing us a fortune and ruining young people who go into prison as
youths and come out hardened criminals." Even former President Jimmy
Carter believes that "penalties for the possession of it should not be
more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself."

And so, what the drug war has done is lock up nonviolent offenders in
maximum-security prisons for years when it would have been a lot less
costlier had they been given treatment instead of incarceration.

Had treatment for addiction been provided instead of imprisonment ...
we would not have had to build so many more prisons than what were
needed! (No wonder the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the

A number of concerned Americans -- both liberal and conservative --
are agreeing with what President Obama has called the Drug War ...
"it's an utter failure."

Despite the political party affiliation of the reader, what our
president is now recommending be done should be a national priority
because he says, "never has it been more important to have a national
drug control strategy be guided by sound principles of public safety
and public health."

Fortunately a number of states -- 16 in all -- have legalized medical
marijuana ... thanks to the efforts of both the scientific and medical
communities who recognize that it lessens excruciating pain and other
debilitating symptoms.

And so, what might be worth considering is legalizing marijuana for
medical use in New York state. It is estimated that if it were taxed
.. it would raise over $1 billion ... annually! Thus we could save
our state's debt problem and not consider the only other alternative
.. "fracking" for natural gas!

Joyce Hackett Smith-Moore

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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.