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 donâ€™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 weâ€™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.
Itâ€™s not like the drug war reduces drug use â€” 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.
Itâ€™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