Pubdate: Sat, 26 Mar 2016
Source: Burlington Free Press (VT)
Copyright: 2016 Burlington Free Press
Author: Walter Carpenter


"I heartily disagree with The editorial "Marjiuana legalization can 
wait" (March 13) that "Vermont can and should wait until we know more 
and are better prepared to handle the consequences."

The problem with this statement is that we have already waited more 
than long enough for marijuana to be rendered legal - once again. Why 
is marijuana illegal while cigarettes and alcohol, which are far more 
lethal, are legal? Each year, for example, some 400,000 Americans 
perish from tobacco and some 16 million suffer its diseases. How many 
die from marijuana annually?

Despite attempts to prove the contrary, we already know this. 
Marijuana was once legal and not even called a drug. But our 
historical scourges of corporate greed and racism worked to call 
marijuana a drug and illegalize it, all in order to remove its 
competition against their products, like nylon, for example, and 
since then millions of Americans have been fed into our voracious 
prisons for this.

As with every thing like this to come about, there are ramifications. 
The editorial duly lays them out, though young people in states where 
marijuana is legal could get it just as easily before it became legal 
again if they had the money. Vermont is the same. The trillions of 
dollars us taxpayers have spent for the war on drugs, including 
marijuana, have only enriched the gangsters.

The time for legalization is now. Vermont should just do it this year 
and then tinker with it in ensuing years.


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