Opinion

Time to legalize, tax marijuana | Editorial

We’ve waged a war on drugs for decades. Sometimes the battle is worth it. That’s not the case with marijuana. Voters should vote “yes” on Initiative 502 and license and regulate it instead.
The illegality of marijuana doesn’t mean it’s not available. Far from it. It is grown extensively and is readily available to those who want it. But, because it’s “illegal,” we waste millions of law-enforcement dollars trying to eradicate it, money that would be better spent stopping violent crime. It also means marijuana use is uncontrolled – and untaxed – by government.
Some worry that marijuana is a gateway drug, leading people to harder – and more destructive – substances. That hasn’t been proven to be true, much like that first beer a person has doesn’t mean he or she will turn into an alcoholic.
The public can buy liquor and tobacco products in their neighborhood grocery store. Government isn’t about to stop that – it makes too much money by taxing them. Marijuana should be treated – and taxed – the same.
Vote “yes” on I-502.

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