Pubdate: Sat, 28 Sep 2013
Source: Daily Chronicle (DeKalb, IL)
Copyright: 2013 Daily Chronicle
Author: Dan Linn


I was delighted to read the letter supporting an end to cannabis 
prohibition. I would like to clarify one point though, Illinois 
doesn't have private prisons. Our prisons are paid for by the taxpayers.

It is worth mentioning that the unions that represent the Department 
of Corrections are very powerful in Springfield and that is why when 
the government tries to save money and close a prison it is met with 
extreme resistance.

Of course nobody wants to close a prison and release dangerous 
criminals back into the public, but if the criminals can be moved to 
another facility to save money that is a good thing, except for those 
prison workers who are paid by our taxes.

Most people do not realize that cannabis prohibition was not enacted 
out of science or any danger to public safety but because of racist 
fear-mongering by Harry Anslinger.

Anslinger needed to find something to demonize to keep his job after 
alcohol prohibition was repealed and cannabis, or as they dubbed it, 
marijuana, was the chosen target. In fact, the American Medical 
Association testified in Congress in 1937 against making the plant 
illegal but to no avail.

Two states have legalized cannabis for adult consumption and more 
likely are to follow because more people are beginning to question a 
policy that has such high costs and no significant results other than 
criminalizing otherwise law abiding Americans.

Illinois recently passed a highly restrictive medical cannabis law, 
and that is a good thing and a step in the right direction, but why 
make folks go to a doctor in order to legally consume a plant that is 
safer than most over the counter medications?

Cannabis should be treated in a similar fashion to alcohol with age 
restrictions on consumption, driving restrictions to keep our roads 
safe and noncommercial home growing.

Dan Linn

Executive Director, Illinois NORML

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