Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Legalize it, tax it, regulate it

Here is an article from today's New York Times.

One quote jumped out at me: "In a memorandum on Oct. 19 outlining the medical marijuana guidelines, Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden said marijuana was “a dangerous drug, and the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime,” adding that “no state can authorize violations of federal law.”"

Dangerous? By what criteria? It's impossible to overdose on, there's no risk of physical addiction, the risks that come from smoking it are minimal and even those can be mitigated by ingesting it or vaporizing it. By every measure it is much safer than alcohol and far safer than tobacco.

Think of the resources we waste pursuing, arresting and incarcerating those involved in the growing, selling and use of marijuana. Then think of the revenue boost we would get from taxing it.

Please, please, please can't we approach public policy issues with common sense and rationality and not baseless fear-mongering?

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