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DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy, is published by the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation
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March 2010
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A letter

In today’s Bloomington (IL) Pantagraph.

Legalize pot; help budget, not criminals

Our legislators continually shirk their responsibility by failing to regulate drugs like marijuana. Too many kids are smoking pot, but instead of taking charge and setting an age limit, our legislators have turned it over to the criminals who sell to any age. You don’t even need a fake ID.

While alcohol sales are restricted to licensed locations at specific times, pot is sold on every street corner day or night, because we’ve put criminals in charge.

Hopelessly dependent on drug war funding, some public employees claim the drug war helps, but the reality is different.

Under prohibition, arresting a drug dealer is like advertising a lucrative job opening. Now you have two criminals, while we pay court costs, room and board for the first one.

It’s not like the drug war reduces drug use — countries with decriminalization have lower rates of use than we do, and we had much less use and less drug war violence when pot was legal.

What the drug war gives us, in addition to no results at great cost, is a jobs program for criminals, prison guards and law enforcement, plus drug war violence leading all the way to the deaths of thousands in Mexico.

It’s time for legislators to stop giving in to the criminals and lobbyists at the drug war trough and begin the legal regulation of cannabis so we can take back control and de-fund the criminals. As a side benefit, we could also dramatically help the budget.

Pete Guither, Bloomington

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10 comments to A letter

  • LOL – I thought this writer made so much sense. Had quite a laugh when I got to the bottom and saw the undersigned 🙂 🙂

  • Buc

    Congratulations on the editorial.

    A lot of times two things prevent stuff like this from being published:

    1) The paper won’t print it
    2) The writer doesn’t want to put a name on it for fear of police harassment in the future

    Good job on it. Especially in a state like Indiana. Only in a technical sense is it not part of the bible belt.

  • Illinois, actually (the other Bloomington). But the point still holds true.

  • Just me

    LOL ya I thought the same thing about the writer making sense then … Hello its Pete! No wonder why. Good job , Im also suprised it got published. Maybe your Name on it did help.

  • Cannabis

    Good letter, Pete! The problem is that most of our representatives are not legislators, they are politicians. Writing legislation, or re-writing what we have, based on science, fact and reality is what we need. What we are getting instead is politics. The reason that we have politicians is that a lot of people vote for them based on emotional reactions, not their ability to craft decent laws.

  • Sukoi

    Hey Pete, I thought that you’d like to know that you and DWR were mentioned in this article and you were quoted with the use of one of your awesome ‘Guitherisms’. You’re getting out there more and more and it’s such a wonderful thing.

  • DdC

    You made the pissinginthecup.com’s lead story. Should be showing up at MapInc. Checking the story comments, it looks like the Pantagraph is in dire need of drug worriers. That’s pitiful. They eat billions of my tax dollars and this is all they put up to defend their precious thuggery and pillage? Is their a moat around DC? Have they cut all the telegraph lines? Illinois, home of the present resident still not getting the word, still pushing the DEAth Mongers agenda. Now he owes Kucinich a bigtime favor. Welcome to the Little Big Horn Mr. Custer…

    National Association of Drug Testing Advisers
    An Objective View on Drug Testing and the Drug Testing Industry

    “Those massive drug seizures you read about in the paper affect traffickers much the same way a DVD shoplifter affects WalMart — an annoyance, but part of the normal cost of doing business.”
    ~ Reporter Peter Guither, who runs Drug War Rant

  • Elby

    Why should we be ageist about who is allowed to smoke marijuana?

    • You need to look at the tactic and the audience, elby. Besides, if we’re already ageist about alcohol, tobacco, driving, military service, education, R-rated movies, marriage, pornography, sex, abortions, internet chat, running for public office, staying home alone, car rentals, American Idol, legal contracts, credit, bungee jumping, soloing in a plane, and a whole bunch of other things, you can bet your sweet ass that there’s going to be some kind of age restriction on marijuana use when it is legal and regulated. Once you understand that, you can use it as a tool toward pushing for legalization.