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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Marijuana: Should government be making money on it?

Legalize marijuana, tax it and move on

With so many truly important issues facing our country today –two wars, a global economic crisis, nuclear weapons in Korea, bank closings, corporate scandals, health-care costs, budget deficits, etc. — it astounds me that our government and the media continue to rehash minor issues.

This time it is marijuana legalization. Hopefully the rhetoric is a prelude to correcting a mistake made many years ago. Nothing new has been added to this discussion in decades, other than “now we need the tax money.”

Opponents to legalization say more study is needed to determine the health risks. I say look around you. The second-largest drug study ever was conducted in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s, second only to that done on cigarettes.

We all know the answer. Just look at the Netherlands, Switzerland, Oakland and Northern California for examples. The only troubling connection I have found is between marijuana policy and politicians looking for a campaign issue.

I challenge all our government officials to become leaders. Stand up — there can’t be any of you left that haven’t inhaled, and you are all successful. Be brave — even President Obama admits the truth.

Regain your credibility, and correct the mistake. Legalize marijuana, tax it and let’s move on.

— Tom Baker, Woodinville

Money is no reason to legalize marijuana

It appears that some who decried the supposed lack of “science-based” policy from the Bush administration seem to have forgotten their own verbiage.

California’s marijuana industry is thriving [“California finds pot is a huge cash cow,” page one, July 19], and it now appears pot can cure allergies, insomnia, throat inflammation and sugar cravings.

It’s a miracle drug! Does it cure impotence too? Oops. Not from what those pesky scientists have said.

Where’s the science to support any of this? If marijuana cures allergies, that would be front-page news. Insomnia? Get real. The truth is that people use the science argument only when the views of one party disagree with their own. In the words of one man who gets his weed with a doctor’s note, this whole policy is a joke that just legalizes what people already wanted. Medicine has nothing to do with it.

And never mind the environmental degradation, the used-up farmland and wasted water, the thriving and murderous criminal cartels that won’t pay taxes anyway and the populations sedated into apathy and complacence.

The reason for all this? It’s also green, but you can’t smoke it, though you can burn through it pretty fast.

Governments are pressured to sign on to this for one reason: money. And when money is the primary motivation for making wholesale changes to criminal and social policies, I think that ought to be a major cause for concern.

— Dan Magill, Seattle

Comments | More in crime/justice, drugs, Marijuana, Taxes

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