Letter: State legalizing pot changes nothing

December 14, 2013 

Letter: State legalizing pot changes nothing

I keep reading of the concerns about pot being legal. The truth is, it changes nothing. It has been prohibited at the federal level nearly 80 years and is as available as it has ever been. We spend billions of dollars each year to enforce the laws and yet pot is as readily available as it was 50 years ago when I was in college.

The prohibition of pot is as damaging to our society as alcohol prohibition was nearly 100 years ago. As David Kaplan wrote in the late 1960s, the social and monetary costs of prohibition far exceed the benefit to society.

President Nixon appointed Kaplan to lead a committee on the issue of legalization, knowing the Stanford law professor was against it. However, when Kaplan studied the issue objectively he concluded marijuana should be legalized. Nixon tore up the report and fired him, so Kaplan wrote the book Marijuana: The New Prohibition, and that is just what it is.

If we could carry out legalization in a rational manner, it could free up billions of dollars now being wasted and create revenue for government. I just have little faith we'll get it right.

BRADY LAYMAN, Kennewick

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