US Marijuana Party

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Time to Rethink Drug Policies

The following is an LTE I wrote in response to this Editorial in the Montgomery Advertiser which was in response to the Freedom March myself and others held in Montgomery in late September.
The entire editorial can be read at the Freedom March link.

Time to rethink drug policies

Thank you for your recent editorial "Drug laws may need reforming." Drug policy reform, while a very controversial and complicated subject, is a critical one that merits discussion and input from the entire community. You have my sincerest thanks for opening the dialogue on your pages.

Let's talk about marijuana prohibition. Your position that prison time for personal possession should perhaps be eased but not prison time for trafficking (selling a quarter bag to your buddy) or manufacturing (gardening/growing your own) is misguided, and does not address the issue of demand.

As long as there are people who choose to consume pot there will always be people willing to supply it. Locking up the suppliers will only produce more suppliers while increasing the black market profit margin. It will not reduce demand, keep it out of the hands of children, ease our overburdened prison system or make us any safer. Prohibition has done the exact opposite for the last 30 years.

I would also like to address the notion that responsible adult consumption of marijuana merits any type of punitive response. Why should anyone be punished for what they consume? If it is consumed willingly and without harm to others, then why make it a criminal offense? People should only be penalized when they commit acts that harm others.

It's high time we regulate it, tax it and make it legal for adult use. Use the money to fund treatment for hard drug addicts, and for a real scientific-based drug prevention education program for our kids.

Loretta Nall
Alabama Marijuana Party
Alexander City


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