Letters to the Editor

Marijuana movement will lead to federal legislation | Letters

For the first time an idea has caught on that marijuana needs to be regulated like alcohol and not as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. That idea is growing fast, but the method this movement is using is not new.

Back in 1881, Kansas passed the first state constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. Soon, other states followed and movements began to gain ground. In Oberlin, Ohio, in 1893, a group of people against drinking started an organization called the Anti-Saloon League. This movement focused on passing laws at a state and local level that banned the consumption, production and importation of alcohol.  Working hand and hand with the American Temperance Society, they managed to elect officials to Congress that supported a dry America.

In 1916, a total of 23 states in the union had passed some sort of prohibition, and by 1919, they had the magical two-thirds majority to pass the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Of course, they soon found out that the rise of organized crime and corruption in America was the result of this amendment like the cartels and gangs of today. By 1932, Franklin Roosevelt ran for president on a promise to repeal Prohibition, and by 1933, the 21st Amendment was passed that repealed the 18th Amendment.

Why I mention this bit of history is to allow you to better understand why Amendment 64 in Colorado and Initiative 502 in Washington state are so important. You see, after Prohibition was passed, federal, state and local government lost about 14 percent of the total revenue they used to receive. The money and crime was understood and the people began to do something about it. This is what the people are doing now.

Colorado finally figured out what the American people want in regards to laws on marijuana. The Colorado law says it all. The Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act of 2012 does exactly what it says it will do and Americans are starting to realize that prohibition does not work. I am not saying that we are on the road to a constitutional amendment for marijuana, but we are on the move for Congress folks to pass a law like this or face election problems. In such close elections, this will be a hard thing to fight.

So it really is not very important if the federal government supports or opposes such laws passed at the state level. It really does not matter what the Supreme Court says on the subject. What is important is that this has grown into a federal movement that will eventually turn into a form of federal legislation. To move marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance to the same category as tobacco and alcohol is easier then amending a constitution. It is just a matter of time now.

So don’t break out the Cheetos and Goldfish yet.

David Alsabery, Dash Point, WA


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