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March 18 ē 10:32 PM
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Itís prohibition of marijuana that attracts criminal element


To the Editor:

Doug Hunter certainly has a pulp crime novelist's skill for telling tragic stories about violence, but his conclusion, "All this suffering for an illegal drug that some want to legalize, claiming it's medicinal and harmless," makes no sense whatsoever.

If marijuana was legal, Matt Rogul would be alive today. Instead of turning to criminals to score some pot, he would have gone to the store, where, just like with alcohol, he could have purchased it safely in a controlled and regulated system.

Prohibition makes the black market obscenely profitable and recruits people into the criminal lifestyle. Every drug dealer we arrest creates an instant job opening, increasing the numbers of criminals, and law enforcement efforts wasted on the revolving drug dealers (who would be put out of work with legalization) result in violent criminals, like those involved in 'Hit a Lick,' slipping through the cracks.

The reason to legalize marijuana isn't because it's harmless (although it is certainly safer than alcohol, tobacco, or just about any other drug). The reason to legalize it is to reduce the damage of prohibition, which fuels crime and puts the control of drugs in the hands of criminals.

Pete Guither, Bloomington, IL
October 14, 2009

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