Feb 27, 2011

the Seattle Times endorses legalizing marijuana

The Seattle Times has taken up the cause of legalizing marijuana. First, in its own editorial:
Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. The push to repeal federal prohibition should come from the states, and it should begin with the state of Washington.

In 1998, Washington was one of the earliest to vote for medical marijuana. It was a leap of faith, and the right decision. In 2003, Seattle was one of the first places in America to vote to make simple marijuana possession the lowest police priority. That, too, was a leap of faith, and the right decision. A year ago, City Attorney Pete Holmes stopped all prosecutions for simple possession: the right decision.

It is time for the next step. It is a leap, yes — but not such a big one, now.
Second, in an op-ed written by Norm Stamper, a former police chief, and the anti-Kerlikowske:
A fundamental change in drug policy seems daunting, but we've done it before with the repeal of alcohol prohibition. Today, you no longer see gangs shooting each other over beer and liquor market share. And both the president and Kerlikowske have compared drug use to cigarettes, pointing to the success of public-education campaigns in reducing the number of smokers.

But have they forgotten that we have not sent one person to jail for smoking Marlboros? If we can successfully manage alcohol and tobacco under a public-health model, we can do the same for all other drugs.
Here in Washington state, talk of legalization has hit the mainstream, and has prohibitionists on the defensive.

And it's about time.


Anonymous said...

Maybe Washington will have more luck than California?

Jim Anderson said...

I still think we're a couple years away. Our budget crisis, which is partly spurring this whole reexamination of priorities, hasn't yet reached existential levels. But it will soon...

captain princess said...

I will be sad to see WA's punishment by catapault fall by the wayside though.

ayn't no thing said...

This state could sure use the tax money. What a lucrative business! The time for this was decades ago, but Reagan stuck a knife in't. The seventies were so promising, and the eighties so disappointing as regards progress of any kind.