Pubdate: Fri, 08 Aug 2014
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2014 The New York Times Company
Author: David Grosso


To the Editor:

Your recent series about marijuana legalization precisely explains
what motivated me as a member of the Council of the District of
Columbia to introduce legislation in 2013 that would tax and regulate
marijuana in the District.

The war on drugs has ravished entire communities in the District, as
evident from the racial disparities in marijuana arrests here.
According to a report released by the American Civil Liberties Union,
91 percent of all drug arrests in D.C. were of African-Americans,
despite self-reporting that shows equal rates of marijuana use among
African-Americans and whites.

Recent surveys show that public support for the legalization of
marijuana has changed significantly. The conversation has shifted from
"immorality" and "war on drugs" to one of social justice. In spite of
attempted congressional interference, the D.C. Council has already
taken the first step toward legalization and passed a decriminalization law.

The time is ripe to move forward with a full tax-and-regulate approach
in D.C. - one that prohibits selling to minors and uses the tax
revenue to offer programs that help with substance abuse prevention.


Washington, Aug. 1, 2014
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MAP posted-by: Matt