I voted to legalize marijuana though I have never used it and never will. My thought was -- and still is -- that legalization would have positive effects including a strong disincentive for pushers to do business in our communities.
With legalization, those who do choose to purchase marijuana could do so without fear and exposure to individuals who would be inclined to "push" other illegal drugs at them. Also, legalization will support legal jobs for growers and retailers while providing a nice tax influx to state and local governments.
The jurisdictions that choose to not allow growing and retailing in their communities provide a greater opportunity for illegal sales and they lose out on their share of the potential tax revenue.
I do not expect a large upswell in the number of pot users just because of increased availability. The privatization of liquor sales did not drastically increase the number of drunk drivers. The result with marijuana will likely be similar.
Our local cities and counties should embrace this new business opportunity and make our communities less lucrative for illegal drug sales. With a major reduction in revenue, local gangs may even choose to relocate to other areas hopefully outside of Washington.
-- RON ASPLUND, Pasco