Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 2015
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH)
Copyright: 2015 The Cincinnati Enquirer
Author: Thomas Vance


I must respond to Auditor Dave Yost's pronouncement that 
decriminalization is good enough. Marijuana laws have been used to 
harass and keep the civilian population in check since they were 
first proposed ("Marijuana laws already lax" Sept. 2).

In California, marijuana prohibition started as a way to push 
Mexicans back across the border because, wait for it, Mexican 
immigrants were crossing the border and taking American jobs during 
the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now where have we heard that 
before? Blacks and other minorities were targeted also. The first 
drug czar was quoted as saying that marijuana should be illegal 
because it makes black men think they are as good as white men.

Even as recently as a few years ago the Cincinnati City Council, at 
the urging of Cecil Thomas, changed the law from a fine to a fine and 
30 days. The unhidden agenda was this would allow the arresting 
officer to search the citizen whereas a simple ticket would not.

Decriminalization is nothing more than prohibition lite. People will 
still be stopped and searched and ticketed. People with too much 
marijuana will still be arrested and sent to court and jail. We will 
still be wasting millions on enforcement and incarceration.

Oh, and although you could have looked it up on a government website, 
you quoted Rolling Stone as a questionable reference for the claim of 
750,000 arrests for marijuana per year to bolster your inference that 
that number is somehow exaggerated or not true. As someone who has 
been writing and studying this subject for years, I can assure you 
that as an average number for yearly arrests for marijuana, 750,000 
is actually about right.

Marijuana prohibition is dying a long overdue death in America. Let 
it go. America will be a better place if we do.

Thomas Vance, Alexandria
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