Pubdate: Fri, 28 Jun 2013
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Copyright: 2013 The Baltimore Sun Company
Author: Neill Franklin


As a 33-year Maryland law enforcement veteran, I agree with 95 
percent of what Baltimore City State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein says 
about the difficulty of decriminalizing marijuana ("Perils of 
decriminalization," June 21).

A move to decriminalize marijuana would leave behind the deadly 
drug-dealing marketplace of Baltimore's street corners. Most people 
do not realize that alcohol prohibition was the decriminalization of 
alcohol. It was only illegal to manufacture, transport and sell, not 
to possess or consume.

Where do I disagree? The consequences of our poor drug management 
system of prohibition can't get much worse (violence, tainted drugs, 
availability to children, arrests and incarceration, police/community 
relations, etc.).

As for driving while under the influence of drugs, police are already 
trained as drug recognition experts. And I must say, as prevalent the 
use of marijuana is, it has never been a significant problem for law 
enforcement and traffic enforcement.

I applaud Mr. Bernstein's efforts to reduce the criminalization of 
non-violent marijuana users and redirecting limited resources toward 
reducing violent crime.

Neill Franklin, White Hall

The writer is executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
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