Letter: Let’s Legalize Marijuana

To the Editor:

Lately, marijuana has taken a top slot in the national news. Large sums of money are being spent to investigate, capture, try and imprison those who produce, package and sell it. In spite of this effort, the supply has not been cut off. Whenever society decides to prohibit a particular activity because certain members of our society decide said activity is “immoral” or “sinful,” said activity becomes more desirable and more expensive. However, the activity continues unabated.

Apparently we have forgotten the 18th Amendment to our Constitution, which banned alcoholic beverages and supplied fertile ground for the growth of organized crime. Whiskey, wine and beer were made illegally in the U.S. or imported by smugglers. Illegal alcohol became a big business. In the 1920s nearly everyone knew a bootlegger or of a “speakeasy” where one could partake in alcoholic beverages. Those of you who were born after the the late 1920s may not remember that one of the planks of FDR’s platform in the 1932 election was “Repeal the 18th Amendment.” This was done after he was elected with the 21st Amendment.

Instead of trying to stamp out perceived vice, let’s legalize and tax it. That way we save the enormous costs we have now. As a physician, I consider the most dangerous vice in this country overeating. I shall not go into a harangue against gluttony. I’ll just say the cost to society is enormous. Too bad it can’t be taxed. But I do not want it banned.

Let’s legalize and tax marijuana.

Herbert A. Knapp