by David Downs
We've heard rumors that the D.E.A. believes the war on pot is lost in the West, but we never heard any of them actually write it down.
Yet last Wednesday the former chief of intelligence in the Houston Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Gary Hale, wrote “Legalization of marijuana: When, not if” for a Houston Chronicle blog devoted to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.
"I am, however, a pragmatist who believes that the nationwide legalization of the personal use of marijuana is inevitable. While it has inherent risks associated with prolonged use, the American public is consistently leaning toward the legalization of personal use of marijuana, much as the public’s continued use of alcohol resulted in the repeal of Prohibition. As another case in point, people continue to smoke tobacco at great personal risk to their health."
Hale then outlines some broad areas of legislation we'll have to confront when weed does become legal for adults: taxes, trade agreements, DUIs, wrongful death suits, and copyrights to B.C. Bud. Hale also concludes with a bizarre question, though:
"Will governments be faced with having to pay 'reparations' to the families of police officers and federal agents who died while working to destroy marijuana plantations in the United States and abroad? ... What do we say to these men who answered the call of the U.S. government to suppress the supply-side of the marijuana?”
We'll let the readers answer that one in the comments.
For further reading on the Chron blog:
“Marijuana: A case for legalization,” by William Martin, director of the Baker Institute Drug Policy Program. “More than 100 million people in this country have tried marijuana at some point. More than 28 million will do so this year. It will not make them dangerous or more interesting. It should not make them criminals.”
“In a contest with alcohol and tobacco, marijuana wins,” by guest writer Sylvia Longmire, an author and expert on Mexico’s drug wars. “... based on the potential (or lack thereof) of harm to the human body, for people to become dependent, and for people to become violent against each other, marijuana wins in a competition against already-legal alcohol and tobacco.“