Fast Focus: 'Should cities ban pot businesses?' Remnants of prohibition

June 8, 2014 

Oh dear, this conundrum has visited and revisited me in so many ways, ad nauseum, and yet nothing definitive to date settles the matter once and for all. Echoes of the 18th Amendment of the Constitution swirl inside my head and the repeal of it with the 21st ushered in a lot of state-controlled liquor stores and put mobsters "out to dry." Too, the Carry Nations of the country must have felt hell was nigh close at hand with repeal; had they sought sedatives?

Does George Santayana's warning apply to us today? Have we filled up prisons with dealers and users by criminalizing pot like we did with alcohol, beginning in 1919; might we try an alternative and lessen the jail population as well as putting "war on drugs" money to a better use?

By "pot businesses," you refer to the sale of medicinal marijuana, do you not? The state used to employ agents to keep tabs on the sale and distribution of alcohol. Why not regulate pot stores by doing the same? The state takes a share of sales, puts people to work on many levels, de-criminalizes the matter, and makes the unemployed cartels south of Texas sob in their tequilas.

No, I don't use "Mary Jane." Right now I think I'll hit the fridge for another Beck's and silently thank those revisionists of 1933.

-- BINK OWEN, Walla Walla

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