Pubdate: Fri, 05 Apr 2013
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2013 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Steve Wellcom


This letter is in response to a March 29 column called " Marijuana
legalization: An easy way out, " by Dr. Robert Q. Dana at the
University of Maine. Dana apparently assumes drug prohibition keeps
people from using drugs.

Drug prohibition does not keep people from using drugs. If anything,
it facilitates drug use by turning distribution and sale over to drug
dealers who will sell anything to anybody.

For at least the past 30 years, teens have reported that it is easier
for them to get marijuana than alcohol. To buy alcohol you need to be
of legal age and prove it. To buy marijuana all you need is money. We
need legal regulated sale so we, not drug dealers, are in charge of
distribution and sale.

Drugs are not going away. In the past 40 years we've spent more than
$1 trillion, arrested millions of people, shredded the Constitution
and seen unprecedented violence on our streets. The result has been
drugs that are stronger, cheaper and more readily available than ever.

Drugs will be sold in Maine. Do we want them sold through an
uncontrolled black market run by violence or through licensed and
regulated dealers? It's our choice.

Legal regulated sale does not encourage people to use drugs. The
experience of the Netherlands and Portugal shows that drug use goes
down when there is a legal regulated market.

The organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,, made up of current and former law enforcement
personnel, agrees. Go to its website, watch its videos, then make your
judgment as to the best approach to drugs.

Steve Wellcome

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