Marijuana experiment

November 11, 2012 

Legislation lifting the prohibition of cannabis for recreational use while regulating and taxing the sales recently passed with significant support in Washington and Colorado.

While both state governments probably will not bar enactment, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency lists cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, illegal for sale "over the counter." Chances are the DEA will attempt to forcefully stop the sale of cannabis if these laws are enacted, inevitably leading to lawsuits thwarting the will of the people.

I believe a better way is for the states and DEA to treat the enactment of these laws as an experiment to determine if they will work as anticipated. Time periods can be set and measurable targets established to determine the effects on these states, such as usage by people under 21, DUI arrests, revenue, effect on prison population and other measurable results after implementation.

If the legalization performs as anticipated, the DEA can use these results to justify regulating the sale of cannabis similar to that of alcohol and allowing other states to enact similar legislation.

Rather than be at loggerheads, let's use this opportunity to prove once and for all whether this prohibition should be lifted. It just makes common sense.

ROY WIPRUD, Kennewick

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