Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jan 2014
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Copyright: 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Edward DeLorenzi


Updated Jan. 23, 2014 Mitchell S. Rosenthal's "Let's Not Kid 
Ourselves About Marijuana" (op-ed, Jan. 10) shows the ignorance and 
hypocrisy about who's kidding whom. The facts are that people want 
their vices and most are capable of acting in a responsible manner. 
There has been and always will be people who abuse things. Some claim 
it's a gene that causes it and others believe it's a lack in one's 
constitution that makes them over indulge in illegal drugs, legal 
drugs, nicotine, alcohol, sex or gambling. Nothing is perfect in a 
free society.

Yes, there are people who are going to be hurt by the legalization of 
marijuana. There will be a lesser need for police, prison guards, 
judges and lawyers. Communities will be affected by legalization 
because they will receive less money from forfeitures, fines and 
property seizures. States will lose this windfall of hundreds of 
thousands of dollars that they have come to rely on for the latest 
police gear, pay raises and pension increases. These shortfalls could 
be corrected with the taxes that marijuana will bring in.

The marijuana laws that existed before legalization were 
counterproductive and unfair. The new marijuana laws are consistent 
with alcohol laws and prohibit minors from purchasing it or using it 
in public. The "Just Say No" or "D.A.R.E." programs have failed and 
have not stopped minors from using tobacco or illegal drugs. With the 
taxes derived from cannabis sales, a new program can be instilled 
that talks about moderation and putting oneself in a safe environment 
when using a vice. A new law needs to come with a new approach. 
Instead of using the fear factor, perhaps we should try a dose of 
reality and stop kidding ourselves.

Edward DeLorenzi

Jackson, N.J.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom