Pubdate: Thu, 04 Sep 2014
Source: New Haven Register (CT)
Copyright: 2014 New Haven Register
Author: Michael Nelken
Page: A8


Prohibition of a popular commodity is useless. Endless games of 
cops-and-robbers result. These games weed out amateur merchants, 
leaving only solid, well organized criminal enterprises. Prohibition 
of alcohol established the mafia in America. Prohibition of marijuana 
established the drug cartels in Mexico. The law boasts when the boss 
(or jefe) is captured or killed, but the organization runs itself. 
Alcohol is a dangerous drug. Find out. Ask any doctor. But it remains 
popular. Marijuana may have consequences yet unknown, despite 
centuries of use. We will find out, because it remains popular. 
Whether we like it or not, people will continue to drink, smoke and toke.

Randall Beach has dared to suggest that the states of Colorado and 
Washington are run by sane, post-adolescent voters. They have 
legalized a popular product. But the votes were not unanimous. Some 
people don't like change. The main critic of Beach is a retired 
doctor. He grew up on beer and whiskey, and he thinks the world 
should stay that way. Does he own a cellphone? He probably remembers 
dial telephones. Maybe even the operators that used to ask, "What 
number, please?"

Personally, I no longer drink, smoke or toke. I just pay the taxes 
that support the "War on Drugs." Florida and other states have 
billboards against smoking. Connecticut does not. Tobacco is a much 
more dangerous drug than marijuana. Ask any doctor. And ask the 
Connecticut legislature for some billboards. Please.

- - Michael Nelken, MD

New Haven
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